DIY vs Professional Wildlife Exclusion

Raccoon hiding near house

If you live in the Atlanta Metro or the surrounding area, you likely know the importance of wildlife exclusion. The best way to prevent larger pests and nuisance wildlife from nesting in your home is to keep them from getting inside in the first place. And maybe you’ve been doing enough research to think that you can handle this level of work on your own. You might own a caulk gun and some chicken wire. Why not do the work yourself and save some money?

There are certainly forms of DIY wildlife exclusion you can do on your own. At the same time, there are aspects to this line of work that you definitely need to leave to a professional. At Active Pest Control, we’re trained in all forms of wildlife exclusion, control and management. But before you call for our services, let’s explain how we can help you and your household.

Benefits of Professional Wildlife Exclusion

There’s more that goes into wildlife exclusion than covering entry points. In many cases, the calls we get for exclusion are only placed after some nuisance wildlife has already gotten into the home. This is where the skill set of the Active Pest Control team comes into play. If you have squirrels in your walls or skunks in the attic, removing them on your own could be frustrating, if not potentially dangerous. You don’t want to risk scratches or bites that could transfer disease. Our team has all the protective gear needed for the job, as well as years of industry experience that can apply to nearly every situation.

And when it comes to covering possible entry points, our experts can find vulnerabilities that an untrained homeowner might miss. While you can cover open vents and chimneys, you can count on us to find anything in the more hidden areas of your property. With our help the work done will be more comprehensive, protecting your household from pests big and small.

Wildlife Exclusion: What You Can Do

Even though we suggest leaving the majority of wildlife exclusion work to professionals, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do yourself. If you regularly check for cracks and holes, you can cover them or seal the openings. And you can take measures to make your home inhospitable to wildlife, such as:

  • Eliminating food sources (Pet food, unsealed garbage cans, fallen fruit from trees, etc.)
  • Trimming the trees around your property
  • Shortening climbing plants along the exterior of the home
  • Taking down bird feeders

These are all safe and fairly effective ways to deter animals from your home. And if you try all of this and still find nuisance wildlife taking up residence in your home, the best action to take is to call us at Active Pest Control. We’ve been doing this for over forty years, and we can humanely remove animals from your home while also covering their tracks to keep more from getting in. Our work is ethical and effective, and we can work so you don’t have to sacrifice your safety. To get started, contact us today!

How Wildlife Exclusion Can Help

raccoon on fence eating a cookieFor many people, pest control in Georgia means: You have an infestation in your home, and you need an exterminator with pesticides to eradicate the problem. And in certain cases, that’s true. If you have pests like termites or cockroaches, pesticides are really the only option. But as the pest gets larger, your opinions on pesticides may change. It’s one thing to bait an ant to collapse the colony – but what do you do about a squirrel, rat, or raccoon that made its way into your home? 

Active Pest Control can help, not only in removing these larger nuisance forms of wildlife but in keeping more from taking their place. We do this with the help of what’s called wildlife exclusion.

Wildlife Exclusion: An Overview

Pests both large and small aren’t known for appearing in your home out of nothing and nowhere. The motives of a beetle aren’t too different from that of something like a bat – at their core, they both want food, shelter and safety. Your home offers all of that and more, and the main goal of wildlife exclusion is to implement physical barriers to keep any pests from taking advantage of your resources.

The way we go about applying wildlife exclusion depends on the state of the property. After an initial inspection, an Active Pest Control technician will know exactly what measures need to be taken to suit your home best. You may need a sheet of mesh wire placed over your attic vent to keep bats from roosting, new shingles on the roof to keep rats out, or cracks and gaps in the foundation filled in with caulk. It could be that you need all of that and more, which isn’t a bad thing. What matters is that we do what needs to be done to separate your home from the Great Outdoors.

Keeping Things Moving: Benefits of Wildlife Exclusion

It’s easy to think about what you and your household can personally get out of wildlife exclusion. No rats in the walls or raccoons in the attic is good news for most homeowners in Georgia. And the right exclusion techniques will work in the long term, as most animals will move on and won’t come back once they’ve established that your home is not a candidate for habitation. This works in your favor, but also in the favor of the ecosystem as a whole.

The animals that try to get in your home ultimately are making a home outside their intended environment. And, by closing off access to your space, you’re guiding them back to what they’re meant to be doing. In Georgia, we need squirrels to disperse nuts and promote plant growth. Moles promote soil growth and aeration, and even something as unpleasant as a skunk is almost as effective at pest-control as we are. Every animal that is meant to be here is here for a reason, and by investing in wildlife exclusion you’re making sure that balance is maintained for a long time to come.

Keep Wildlife Away Safely with Active Pest Control

At Active Pest Control, we offer the full spectrum of wildlife management for homes and commercial properties across Georgia. We work safely in removing existing wildlife and taking the proper exclusion efforts to keep your property pest-free for the long term. To learn more or get a free quote, contact us today!

Fall Pests That May Get in Your Home

Asian lady beetle on door frame

Does it seem like there are more insects in your home during the fall and winter? Unfortunately, it’s not your imagination. It’s fall pests looking for ways to get out of the increasingly cold weather. Some of these fall pests will migrate to warmer climates or burrow under debris, but others may decide they want to spend the winter in your warm, dry home. This phenomenon is referred to as overwintering, and it pays to look for warning signs before you end up with an infestation in your home.

Finding a bug on the countertops or in the corners of a room in your home is no fun. However, what’s even worse and could cause even more damage, are the pests hiding where you can’t see them. The fall pests most likely to take refuge here can include Asian Lady beetles, stink bugs, termites, wasps, and rodents. Let’s learn more about how and why these pests may try to get into your home.

Fall Pest #1: Asian Lady Beetles

If you find what looks like a ladybug in your home, it may not be a ladybug. If it’s larger than your garden-variety ladybug, you may be looking at an Asian Lady beetle (which may or may not have spots). And if you’ve found one, the odds are good that it’s not alone. Asian Lady beetles travel together in groups, using pheromones to communicate their location. That means that if one comes into your home to get out of the cold, the result can be an infestation. These bugs may not eat the wood in your home’s structure or sting its residents, but their waste can stain as well as trigger an allergic reaction or breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals. You can prevent this, along with most other fall pest infestations, by making sure you seal any gaps or openings in the exterior of your home.

Fall Pest #2: Stink Bugs

The species of stink bug you’re most likely to encounter in your home in the US is the Brown Marmorated stink bug, which is an invasive non-native species from Asia. They’re flat and shaped like a shield, colored in mottled shades of brown and gray, and range in size from around ¼” to ⅜”. They’re fond of quiet, out-of-the-way parts of your home like the attic or crawlspace, or anywhere else where they won’t be bothered. If they get discovered and feel threatened (or squashed), they’ll release a deeply unpleasant odor, which is where this insect gets its name. 

Fall Pest #3: Termites

Termites are easily the most destructive pest in the US. The annual cost of termite damage and mitigation in the US is estimated at up to $30 billion. Termites, if you have them, are always trying to enter your home. But fall and winter is when subterranean termites – the most damaging species – tend to burrow deep into the ground to wait out the cold weather. So if you have an infestation you may not notice it until spring. And at that point, the nest, and the damage, could be much more extensive. Once termites can get in your home, they will consume wood and anything else that contains cellulose. Signs of termites in your home may include blisters on painted surfaces, hollow-sounding wood, and unexplained pinhole-sized holes.

Fall Pest #4: Rodents

Squirrels, roof rats, and mice are all agile creatures and excellent climbers. You’ve surely seen them make their way from branch to branch or along narrow fences. It shouldn’t come as a surprise they can get into your attic and make a nest. Luckily these rodents don’t tend to be very stealthy. After some time you’ll hear them scratching or gnawing from up above or inside the walls. Those are both good signs that you have a rodent inside your attic or wall voids, and that means it’s time to call an experienced rodent exterminator like Active Pest Control 

Fall Pest #5: Wasps

Wasp colonies do not overwinter in the colder season, which leaves the workers to die with the oncoming winter. Fertilized queens, however, survive the cold outdoors and leave the nest for shelter like hollow logs, tree stumps – or in certain structures, like the attic of your home. Here’s a question for you. How sure are you that your attic vents are all screened from the outdoors? If you’re not very sure, consider calling us to inspect your attic and install them for you. They can prevent wasps, birds, and all manner of creatures from making themselves comfortable without you knowing.

Top Exterminators for Fall Pests

Active Pest Control has been proud to provide Georgia residents with quality pest control services for over 35 years. If you have some unwelcome fall pests in your home, Active Pest Control is ready to help. Contact us now for a free quote!

5 Frightening Facts About Cockroaches

Cockroach on white background

If you see a cockroach in your home, you probably won’t need to be persuaded to call an exterminator. Cockroaches are repulsive and difficult to eliminate by yourself. But here are five facts that might make you even more motivated to contact an experienced exterminator like Active Pest Control.

Cockroaches Are Quick

A human’s average walking speed is 2.5 to 4 mph. Some roaches can run over 3 miles per hour. In fact, they’re one of the fastest insects on the planet. They won’t hesitate to run or fly at you to create an opening for their escape. It’s best to avoid coming in contact with cockroaches. They’re known or suspected carriers of the bacteria that cause dysentery, typhoid fever, Salmonellosis, cholera and other illnesses.

They’re Hard to Kill

Cockroach exoskeletons are incredibly strong. They can withstand a force equivalent to 900 times their own body weight. So don’t count on being able to just hit a roach with a broom and squash it. If you have a cockroach infestation in your home, don’t attempt to kill the roaches on your own. Effectively eliminating a cockroach infestation is nearly impossible without help from a professional exterminator.

If You Kill One, it Attracts More

Like many other insects, cockroaches are attracted to certain scents. The smell that’s most compelling to them is, surprisingly, the smell of a dead roach. A dead roach produces a smell that entomologists call the “death stench”. Cockroaches are social creatures, so when a dead roach is discovered, other roaches tend to investigate so they can let the rest of the colony know that it may be in danger. After alerting the colony, they may begin feeding on the carcass of the deceased. 

A Cockroach Can Live for Weeks Without a Head

Think cockroaches can’t get any more disgusting or creepy? Think again! A cockroach can survive for a few weeks without a head. Because they breathe through a system of tubes that filters air in and out of the sides of the body, they only need their head to consume food and water. While a cockroach can regenerate limbs, it can’t grow back its head. It will survive for a few headless weeks until it dies of hunger or thirst.

A Cockroach Can Survive for More Than a Half Hour Without Air

A cockroach is able to hold its breath for 40 to 45 minutes, making any plans to suffocate roaches a non-starter. This is just another example of how tough they are to kill.

Best Cockroach Exterminators in Georgia

If you’re dealing with a cockroach infestation, don’t hesitate to hire professional exterminators. The experts at Active Pest Control have been providing fast, reliable cockroach extermination in Georgia since 1985. Contact us today for a free quote!

 

Natural Ways to Repel Bees and Wasps

A wasp sitting on a leaf

Are you planning to spend some time outside this summer? You won’t be alone: wasps and bees are active in the summer in Georgia. A run-in with wasps or bees can result in annoyance, stings and even serious allergic reactions. But how can you keep stinging insects at bay without loading up on bug spray? To learn how to repel bees and wasps while you’re outdoors this summer – naturally read on!

Plants That Bees and Wasps Love

Since bees and wasps are pollinators, it’s not shocking that they’re attracted to plants. Here are some flowers that bees and/or wasps are especially attracted to: 

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lantana
  • Lilacs
  • Perennial Yarrow
  • Poppies
  • Pale Purple Coneflower
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Wisteria
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Sedum
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflowers

Are any of these growing near your home? If so, consider moving them further away, if possible. Especially if they’re close to a patio or other outdoor space that you use frequently.

Plants That Bees and Wasps Hate

Wasps and bees are attracted to some plants based on how they smell but repelled by other plants for the same reason. The plants that repel them include: 

  • Basil
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Wormwood

To keep stinging insects away from your porch, deck or patio, consider adding some of these plants near your home’s outdoor spaces.

Bees and Wasps and Food

Stinging insects, especially wasps, are also attracted to food. This can be a problem because whether it’s barbecues, picnics or kids with ice cream, eating food outside is a part of summer. 

However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance that bees or wasps will ruin an outdoor meal.

  • Put away food and drinks promptly after eating a meal outside. 
  • Keep sugary drinks closed or covered to keep wasps out.
  • When you put food or food-related trash in a trash can, close the lid securely.

Bees and wasps are attracted to food. However, like with plants, there are some food items that bees and wasps don’t like, including: 

  • Bay Leaves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Vinegar

If you keep one or more of these in close proximity while you’re enjoying the outdoors, it could help keep stinging insects away. For example, you could place cinnamon sticks or a glass of vinegar on a patio table. Or bring some sliced cucumber on a plate if you’re eating a meal outside.

How to Keep Bees and Wasps Away with Essential Oils

Another way to keep stinging insects away naturally is to make an essential oil-based pest repellent spray. Stinging insects dislike the smell of the essential oils below:

  • Citronella oil
  • Clove oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil

Simply combine essential oil and water at a ratio of two drops of essential oil per ounce of water to make a natural alternative to store bought insect repellent. 

Best Bee and Wasp Exterminators in Georgia

Natural pest repellents can help keep some wasps or bees away. However, they won’t be enough to deal with a serious infestation. In that case, you may need to hire a local exterminator to get rid of the stinging insects on your property. Active Pest Control has been providing exterminator services in Georgia since 1985. If you’re looking for eco-friendly bee, wasp and hornet removal, call us today for a free quote

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Bathroom

Ants in a bathroom in Georgia - Active Pest ControlAnts are notorious in Georgia for being one of the hardest pests to get rid of. Even though most ant species aren’t quite dangerous, the ones that don’t bite, sting, or tunnel through wood will take over your house, forming trails that extend far out of sight. Additionally, it is difficult to predict when you might start dealing with ants because they usually emerge with rapid weather changes.

Many ant infestations start off in areas with sustained moisture, so it’s important to learn how to prevent and get rid of ants in your bathroom. Read on to learn from the ant exterminators at Active Pest Control!

Why Are There Ants in My Bathroom?

Ant infestations usually start because of an issue with excess moisture buildup. These pests will seek out pooling water in your shower, in your sink, and on the floor, looking for a reliable water source. Carpenter ants, in particular, infest bathrooms commonly because of the water-damaged wood that they often find. They burrow through damaged wood to make their nests and access the rest of your structural wood. All kinds of ants will infest your bathroom, though, and they usually find their way in through these access points:

  • Trails through open windows and doors
  • Cracks in walls and foundation
  • Gaps and holes around plumbing fixtures
  • Ventilation systems

Ants might have also traveled to your bathroom from another room in your home, so it’s important to try to find the source of their trail to get rid of them.

Getting Rid of Ants in Your Bathroom

The most important part of ant removal is finding out where the ant trail is coming from. This can be quite difficult because ants can travel through the tiniest cracks in walls, pipes, doors, and more. Because of this, it’s important to learn how to prevent ants before they infest your home in the first place. We recommend you take these ant prevention strategies:

  • Seal cracks and gaps leading inside your home with a silicone-based caulk
  • Move mulch away from the side of your home and keep plants trimmed back
  • Replace any water-damaged wood that you find
  • Ensure that your bathroom is well-ventilated
  • Check that your doors and windows fully seal

Who Can Help Get Rid of Ants in Georgia?

If you can’t find where your ants are coming from, you need the help of a local pest control expert with experience tracing ant trails and locating colonies. Our ant exterminators at Active Pest Control are knowledgeable about the many ant species in Georgia and can provide quick and exhaustive ant removal services for both residential and commercial customers. Reach out today for a free quote!

10 Tips to Keep Your Backyard Pest-Free

Servicing a backyard in Georgia - Active Pest ControlSpring and summer in Georgia come with a lot to be excited about. However, the warm weather and sunshine following rainfall lead to all kinds of pest problems in our region. It’s important to be able to stop pests from finding food sources, shelter, and breeding grounds in your backyard, because without any effort put into pest prevention, your background will be overrun with pests for most of the year. If you’re wondering how you can pest-proof your backyard, read on for advice from our expert exterminators at Active Pest Control!

10 Tips to Make Your Backyard Pest-Free

Our climate allows for all kinds of pests to thrive throughout the year, so it’s important to have a pest prevention plan that accounts for all kinds of infestations. Here are our top 10 pest prevention tips for Georgia residents:

  1. Mow the lawn often: Mowing once a week can prevent overgrowth that creates excess standing water pooling and ample insect hiding places.
  2. Trim your plants: Make sure your trees, bushes, and shrubs aren’t overgrown. This can lead to shaded hiding places that are particularly attractive to mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and more.
  3. Get rid of yard waste: Piles of yard waste can provide shelters that lead to all kinds of pest infestations, from ants all the way up to rodents and wildlife.
  4. Clear out standing water: Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water, no matter how small. Make sure to pour it out or cover it when you find rainwater pooling in gutters, planters, tarps, buckets, your lawn, or elsewhere.
  5. Use garden nets: Garden netting can protect the plants that would otherwise attract all kinds of insects and wildlife.
  6. Dethatch your lawn: A thin layer of thatch is helpful for your lawn’s temperature regulation, but too much of it can suffocate your lawn and lead to all kinds of pest problems. Dethatch your lawn and use a nitrogen fertilizer to prevent excess buildup.
  7. Water your lawn carefully: Overwatering and underwatering can both lead to different kinds of pest problems, so it’s important to know exactly how much water your lawn needs. Setting up an irrigation system or sprinkler system will regulate this quantity for you.
  8. Store firewood up and away: Firewood laying around by the side of your home can quickly lead to a devastating termite infestation. To prevent this from happening, store your firewood off of the ground, away from your home, and covered if possible.
  9. Keep bins closed: Pests as small as wasps and as big as raccoons love to forage in our trash cans for food. Seal them if possible, but definitely keep them as far away from your yard and home as possible.
  10. Hire an exterminator: A professional pest control technician can assess your yard for active vulnerabilities that could lead to pest infestations.

Pest Control for Your Backyard in Georgia

If you want to feel confident that your yard won’t fall victim to pest infestations this spring and summer, reach out to your local pest control company. At Active Pest Control, our highly trained technicians are well-versed in control and prevention strategies for the many insects, arachnids, and wild animals living in Georgia. We can set up a plan to keep your yard pest-free year-round. Contact us today for a free quote!

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me?

What mosquitoes look like in Georiga - Active Pest ControlDo you consider yourself a “mosquito magnet?” While it seems that some of us are much more favorable to mosquitoes than others, we still don’t understand all of the intricacies of mosquito preferences. That said, we do have some advice for people looking to avoid mosquitoes around Atlanta GA this spring and summer. Read on to learn more about preventing mosquito bites with the mosquito exterminators at Active Pest Control!

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Certain People?

Experts still aren’t sure how to precisely predict who will be more susceptible to mosquito bites than others. However, we do know that the more physical activity we engage in outdoors around mosquito breeding grounds, the more likely we are to experience bites. This is because of the three things mosquitoes sense for when looking for hosts to feed on:

  1. Breath: Carbon dioxide in the air tips off mosquitoes to potential hosts. When we exhale, we release CO2 that signals to mosquitoes that we are eligible for bites, and heavy breathing after exercise results in a stronger signal.
  2. Body odor: Strong perfumes, dietary choices, and most notably, perspiration all contribute to our body odor, which mosquitoes seek out.
  3. Temperature: Engaging in physical activity or wearing dark clothing in the sun can increase our body temperature, letting off an easily detectable signal.

How to Avoid Mosquito Bites in Atlanta GA

We can’t just hide inside all spring and summer to avoid mosquito bites, so what can we do to save our skin while getting out in the sun? There are a few measures you can take to lessen your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes this year:

  • Look out for standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and will use even the smallest pools of it to grow their numbers. Check around your yard for standing water buildup in gutters, planter boxes, and anywhere else rainwater collects. You should also avoid outdoor activities by bodies of standing water at dawn and dusk, the times mosquitoes are most active.
  • Choose the right clothes: Dark colors trap heat and raise your body temperature, so wear white or light-colored clothing if you’re worried about mosquito bites. Although it can be uncomfortable in the heat, wearing pants or long-sleeved shirts will greatly reduce your chances of bites, too.
  • Use bug spray: An EPA-approved insect repellent using DEET or picaridin can safely protect you from mosquito bites. If you’re looking for all-natural alternatives, we recommend lemon-eucalyptus and citronella oils.

Professional Mosquito Control Services Help

If you are stuck dealing with mosquito bites year after year around your home or business in Atlanta GA, it’s time to put that cycle to rest. The mosquito exterminators at Active Pest Control can set up a mosquito barrier treatment around your property, preventing mosquitoes from breeding on the premises and keeping their numbers low for months at a time. To learn more about our mosquito extermination program and receive a free quote, get in touch today!

What Type of Animal is in Your Attic?

Bats in the attic in Georgia home - Active Pest Control, formerly ActiveNo matter where you are—in the living room with your family or in bed at night—hearing noises and movement in your attic is frightening. While some may believe they are living the plot of a horror movie, the reality is that their home is being infested by nuisance wildlife. An attic is a popular place for wild animals to shelter, as they gain access to our homes through the roof. It goes without saying that no one wants animals taking up residence in their attic.

Our wildlife control experts understand the stress that wildlife problems can cause, especially if wild animals get into your home. Active Pest Control is here to provide all the information you need about potential infestations in your attic.

Common Animals That Infest Attics

Georgians are no strangers to wild animals roaming around their neighborhoods. But how do these animals get in? Animals that can gain access to your roof are likely to make their way into your attic if given a chance. These five pests are most likely to be found infesting your attic:

  1. Bats: Possibly the most dangerous attic dweller is the bat. Bat waste is toxic and can cause health risks.
  2. Birds: Hearing chirping noises or fluttering indicates you could have a nest of birds in your attic. They have a harder time leaving once they’re inside.
  3. Rats & mice: These rodents can make some of the loudest noises with their scratching, chewing, squeaking, and running. The roof rat is the most common rodent in attics.
  4. Squirrels: All types of squirrels can squeeze in through tiny openings and are feared for their ability to chew through wires.
  5. Raccoons: Female raccoons are known to nest in attics, and can come and go during the day and night. Chattering noises may indicate a nest of baby raccoons.

How Do I Get Rid of Animals in the Attic?

In the event that you think an animal lives in your attic, you shouldn’t go hunting for it on your own. When you try to get rid of the animal, bat, or bird on your own, you put yourself and your family at risk. If wild animals feel threatened, they may bite. This alone makes it important to hire a professional. When you work with a humane wildlife removal company, such as Active Pest Control, you can rest assured that the safest traps will be used to capture and relocate wild animals.

Certified Wildlife Removal Experts

At Active Pest Control, we understand how stressful it is to discover wildlife in your attic. Furthermore, wildlife poses a threat to your safety. Our animal removal experts will not only inspect your home thoroughly but will also put preventative measures in place to prevent wild animals from entering your attic in the future. Contact our wildlife experts today to learn more.