5 Ways to Keep Rodents Away This Fall

5 Ways to Keep Rodents Away This Fall in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlIt’s fall, meaning it’s the season of the rodent! Every year in the fall and winter here in Atlanta, the number of rodent infestations goes way up. But why? As temperatures begin to dip this time of year, rat and mouse problems begin to get worse as the pests look for somewhere to bunker down for the winter. With Rodent Awareness Week around the corner, the experts at Active Pest Control are here to share all you need to know about seasonal rodent infestations, including what you can do to keep them at bay. Read on to learn more!

How to Keep Rats and Mice Away in Atlanta

Rodents are very apt at getting into your home much easier than you’d think. Mice, in particular, can squeeze through openings the size of a pencil eraser, and rats are extremely apt jumpers and climbers. In fact, some rodents can scale vertical walls, including brick and concrete walls. Needless to say, it’s important to learn how to make your property inaccessible to them entirely.

Our top five tips to keep rodents away are as follows.

  1. Inspect your property to look for any openings rodents may have snuck through. By sealing these openings and closing up gaps around vents and soffits, you can effectively keep rodents out.
  2. Further rat-proof your property by repairing your roof and monitoring drains. By limiting their access points, you can get rid of the means by which rodents get inside of your property.
  3. Look into traps and baits. If you have just a couple of rodents in your property, you can effectively get rid of them using bait or traps. Keep in mind this is not a strong enough solution for an entire infestation.
  4. Implement preventative measures. Simple pest prevention measures go a long way to keep rodents away, too. This includes taking proper care of your yard and maintaining a tidy yard.
  5. Get professional rodent control services. If you have a serious rodent problem, the best thing you can do is hire a pest control expert. A professional will know to safely and effectively get rid of the pests for good.

Rodent Prevention in the Fall

Every Rodent Awareness Week, the rodent exterminators at Active Pest Control aim to educate our community about the dangers of rodent infestations. To avoid them, it’s crucial to put a stop to rats getting inside in the first place. To learn more about keeping rats and mice out this fall and winter, contact us today to learn more!

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

Active Pest Control - Exterminator in Atlanta GA - Highly Reviewed Pest Control CompaniesEntomologists from Active Pest Control‘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.

Is It a Mouse or a Rat?

How to identify rats and mice in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlAs two of the most common pest rodents, rats and mice cause a lot of trouble for Atlanta GA area homeowners. All types of rodents share a common identifying feature: their ever-growing incisor teeth. They also typically all possess short legs and a long tail, but their similarities stop there. In addition to having different characteristics, these rodents also exhibit different behaviors. A rat infestation can be much different than a mouse infestation, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to know how to tell the difference between these two. Read on for Active Pest Control’ guide to knowing if you are dealing with a mouse or a rat problem.

All About Mice

Mice are typically significantly smaller than rats and exhibit different behaviors. Here’s how to tell them apart:

  • The house mouse is usually just 2–4 inches long.
  • Mice have larger ears and a longer tail compared to its body length.
  • Mice are often gray or brown in color, with a lighter shade or white color on their bellies.
  • Mice droppings have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
  • Most mice feed on fruits, seeds, grains, and occasionally meat.
  • They produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.
  • Mice forage at dusk and nest in attics, garages, basements, and more.

Mouse and rat identification Active Pest Control

Rat Identification

From the Norway rat to the roof rat, these rodents are known for being larger than their mouse counterparts.

  • Rats have thicker bodies and tails that are shorter than the length of their body.
  • They possess small hairy ears and larger feet.
  • They weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 grams.
  • Rat droppings are banana-shaped and much bigger than mice droppings at 10–20 mm long.
  • Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
  • Rats are adventurous, omnivorous eaters who will feed on a variety of grains and meats.
  • They forage overnight and nest in garages, trees, and basements.

Are Rats More Dangerous Than Mice?

Due to their gnawing and chewing habits, a mouse or rat infestation can be equally dangerous. Rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of potentially dangerous diseases. They also can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. Lastly, they can cause significant damage to your home. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring, which can create a fire hazard in your property.

How to Tell If You Have Rats or Mice

It can be easy to tell when you have a rodent problem in your home. However, you likely do not want to get close enough to tell whether you have rats or mice! Your best bet at knowing is to enlist the help of a rodent control expert such as Active Pest Control. We can determine the rodent species that has infested your property and come up with a plan to control them—quick.

Are Rodents More Dangerous During the Pandemic?

Rodent infestations are surging in Atlanta GA during the pandemic - Active Pest ControlIt’s Rodent Awareness Week, and rodent infestations are on the rise. Due to the pandemic, reports of rodent sightings have surged. But why? Back when the coronavirus hit and restaurants began to shutter, rats and mice were suddenly deprived of their food sources. Especially here in Atlanta, this led to more infestations as rodents entered residential homes in search of resources. With the seasons changing as we speak, rodents during the pandemic are even more inclined to be indoors this time of year to stay warm. With infestations on the rise during the pandemic, now is the time to learn how to effectively prevent rodent problems in your property. The team at Active Pest Control is here to help.

Rodent Infestations During a Pandemic

Rodents are known to spread a number of dangerous diseases, but what about COVID-19? While rats and mice have been linked to certain coronaviruses, there is no current evidence or research to show that rodents are transmitting the current strain (SARS-CoV-2) to humans.

Here’s what to know about rodents during the pandemic:

  1. Due to the restaurant shutdowns and lockdowns, there have been several reported cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources.
  2. The surge in rodent activity leads to a bigger risk of infestations and rodent-spread issues.
  3. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and more.
  4. Once inside your home, rodents can cause damage with their chewing and nesting habits.

Preventing Rodents During COVID-19

The last thing you want to deal with this year is a rat or mouse problem inside your property. To avoid the frustration of an infestation, implement the following rodent prevention tips:

  1. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  2. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  3. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  4. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed.
  5. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Rodent Awareness Week 2020

Here at Active Pest Control, we aim to help educate our customers every Rodent Awareness Week. Now more than ever with rodent problems on the rise, it’s important to learn how to keep rats and mice out of your home. If you need assistance keeping rodents out of your Atlanta GA home, our rodent exterminators are standing by to help. Contact us today to learn more!

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlIn today’s day and age, the DIY movement is more popular than ever. Whether it’s a household chore, gardening, or an art project, do-it-yourself tasks are favored by many. However, when it comes to pest control, DIY methods are never a long-term solution. We’ve all tried them: vinegar spray for ants, snap traps for rats, store-bought pesticides for roaches … the list goes on. But at-home remedies for pests are unreliable, timely, and can even be expensive. For quick, effective, and guaranteed results, it’s always best to use a professional exterminator such as Active Pest Control. Keep reading for info on the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional pest control here in Atlanta GA!

Pros & Cons of DIY Pest Control

Many people favor DIY methods because they believe they will save them money in the long run. For some small pest flare-ups, DIY methods can work. However, do-it-yourself pest control is a risk for several reasons:

  • Certain pests, such as rodents, termites, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these infestations will be a challenge for any novice.
  • Many store-bought products are filled with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
  • At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
  • Buying DIY or store-bought remedies don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services.

Why Professional Pest Control is Important

Yes, professional pest control is certainly an investment of your time and money. However, the payoff is tenfold. A professional exterminator has years of experience and knowledge to tackle any current infestation you have. With a focus on IPM practices, they can also work to prevent future problems. As often as possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively with little invasion or disruption to your daily life. Lastly, a pest control expert can work with you to develop a customized pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home in your region.

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control: How to Choose

When it comes down to it, no one wants to deal with pests in your home. If you want to get rid of them completely, a professional pest control company is your best bet. In the long run, a pest control professional can provide you with the tools you need to keep pests out for good. Give the Active Pest Control team a call today to learn more about how we can guarantee a pest-free lifestyle.

Common Spring Pests to Prevent

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Atlanta GA home! Tips from Active Pest ControlSpring is almost here, which means pests are on their way! While pest problems are a fact of life in Georgia year-round, springtime sees a big fluctuation in pest problems. This is because many pests that are less active throughout the winter are encouraged by warming temperatures to start invading homes again. To keep spring pests out of your property, it’s important to prepare your home now! Keep reading for tips from the experts at Active Pest Control.

5 Common Springtime Pests

It’s pest season, and there are many pests to be on the lookout for in the next couple of months. The most common pest problems this time of year are:

  • Ants. With warmer weather comes hoards of ants in your home.
  • Termites. Termite swarming season is here! Termite infestations often start in the spring.
  • Rodents. Although they’re active year-round, rats and mice are a problem in the spring.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps and hornets are gearing up to build nests this time of year.
  • Stink bugs. After overwintering, people report a resurgence in stink bugs.

How to Prevent Pests this Spring

Chances are, you’ll be doing some spring cleaning around your home. Why not throw in pest prevention measures while you’re at it? To prepare your home for spring pests, implement the following tips:

  1. Clean your windows and doors, and make sure there are no cracks or crevices. If there are, seal them properly.
  2. Deep-clean your carpets by vacuuming and shampooing, if possible.
  3. Clean your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids are easy bait for rodents, cockroaches, and more!
  4. Remove debris from your yard, and trim back tree branches away from your home. Also clean out gutters and downspouts.
  5. Ensure your plumbing is working properly and fix any leaks.
  6. In general, tidy up your home. Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.

How to Get Rid of Spring Pests

You’ve thoroughly cleaned your kitchen and tidied your backyard, but there’s still ants crawling across your kitchen counters—now what? To prevent inevitable spring pests, it’s best to team up with a professional pest control company. The exterminators at Active Pest Control will work with you to ensure your home is safeguarded from pests this spring and all year long.

Rodents: The Diseases and Damage They Cause

Rodents can chew on wires and spread disease in your Atlanta GA home. The rodent exterminators at Active Pest Control can help!A rodent infestation is any homeowner’s worst nightmare. Not only are they gross and messy—there are many dangers of rodents to be aware of! Rats and mice can contaminate any surface they walk across, spreading bacteria wherever they go. Some of the world’s most infamous diseases are spread by rats or mice feces, and the nesting habits of rodents can cause damage inside homes and businesses. Because rodent infestations can be dangerous, it’s important to always enlist the help of a rats and mice exterminator to get rid of them.

What Diseases are Spread by Rodents?

Rodent-borne diseases can be spread directly or indirectly. When they’re transmitted directly, it’s often when a human comes into contact with a rodent’s saliva or droppings, or a bite occurs. Indirectly, these diseases are spread by infected fleas, mites, and ticks. Some of the most dangerous diseases spread by rodents include the following:

  1. Hantavirus. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases, it can lead to kidney failure or worse.
  2. Salmonella. The bacteria spread by rats and mice can track onto food. The most infamous bacteria is of course salmonella, known as food poisoning.
  3. Lyme Disease. This is of course transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.
  4. Plague. Historically, the bubonic plague was caused by infected fleas that were carried by rats and mice. This disease can still be spread today.

Damage Caused by Rats & Mice

Rats have incisors that never stop growing … meaning they never stop chewing! Their chewing habits can lead to a lot of damage inside your home or business, especially when electrical wires are damaged. Exposed wires can short circuit and cause a fire hazard. Rats and mice will tear through materials to create nests, and rats have been known to cause structural damage in properties by cutting through tough materials in your home. If an infestation is ignored, the damage inflicted on your property can be more severe than you think.

Why Use a Rodent Exterminator?

To avoid the dangers of rodents, it’s important to work with a professional rats and mice exterminator such as Active Pest Control. Our rodent control team has the years of experience required to control infestations and keep rats out of Atlanta GA homes all year long. We can also help you learn more about preventing rodent infestations from ever starting in the first place!

How to Set a Mousetrap

Mousetrap in Atlanta GA home - Active Pest Control provides expert tips on setting a mousetrap properlyNo one wants to deal with a mice infestation. Mice are a dreaded household pest because they spread disease and filth. Some of the signs you may have a mouse problem are droppings, foul odors, shredded insulation or cardboard, and—of course—spotting a mouse! Seeing even one may indicate that you have many more hidden, which is why it’s important to learn how to set a mousetrap.

How Does a Mousetrap Work?

There are several types of mousetraps, including electronic, catch-and-release, and glue traps. All types have their pros and cons. Perhaps the most common and popular type of mousetrap is the spring-loaded mousetrap. This classic design has been used for decades to catch mice, and is easier to set up than you may think!

Spring-loaded mousetraps are placed in areas of suspected rodent activity with bait. When the spring mechanism is triggered, the metal bar will snap and effectively catch the mouse.

5 Best Mousetrap Tips

When learning how to set a mousetrap, there are some tips to keep in mind. By keeping the following mousetrap tips in mind, you can be successful in setting mousetraps:

  1. Use the best mousetrap bait
    1. Contrary to popular opinion, some mice like cheese, and some don’t.
    2. You only need to use a small amount of bait that cannot be reached unless mice step on the trap. If they can swipe it without standing on the trap, they will!
  2. Start with unloaded mousetraps
    1. It may seem counter-intuitive, but start with unloaded traps (baited but not activated)!
    2. Mice are extremely skeptical of new things–especially human things.
    3. Set traps out with bait (without loading them) for a couple of nights. It lulls mice into a false sense of security.
  3. Use multiple traps at once
    1. By setting multiple traps two to three feet apart each, you have a better chance at catching as many mice as possible at once.
  4. Set mousetraps in the right places
    1. Mice travel along walls, under furniture, and generally any place that offers cover.
    2. Place mousetraps along walls and behind furniture, with the bait placed nearest to the wall.
  5. Check your mousetraps regularly
    1. Your mouse problem is not going to be gone overnight. It takes diligence to make sure traps are working, set, and not going to waste!
    2. Mice can, in some instances, grab bait without setting off the trap. They can also set the trap off without getting caught!

House Mouse Exterminators

If you’re still dealing with mice even after setting a few traps, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional pest control company. At Active Pest Control, our mice exterminators have years of experience properly getting rid of rodents in homes and businesses throughout Georgia. We will thoroughly inspect your property for sources of the infestation and customize a rodent control plan suited to your needs. To learn more about how to set a mousetrap or other mice extermination methods, give our team a call today!

Winter Rodent Control Checklist

How to implement rodent control for your winter home in Atlanta GA - Active Pest ControlMany people think pest problems only occur in the summer, but rodent infestations are very common in the winter! According to The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 21 million homes in the U.S. are invaded by rodents each winter. As temperatures drop, rats and mice will look to make their way indoors for warmth and shelter. To avoid the diseases and destruction brought from rodent infestations, it’s important to implement rodent control into your home each year. Keep reading for Active Pest Control’s top tips for rats and mice prevention in the winter.

Do Rats & Mice Hibernate?

While some animals—certain rodents included—hibernate during the colder months, rats and mice stay active throughout the winter. Because they remain active in these months, they are even more compelled to enter homes to escape the cold outdoors. Once inside, they will nest and spread. In addition to their destructive gnawing and tunneling, rat droppings are capable of spreading disease. Because rodent infestations are so common in the winter, it’s essential to protect your home from them.

8-Point Rodent-Proofing Checklist

Winter Rodent Control Checklist - Active Pest Control in GeorgiaThere are eight spots in particular around your property that are vulnerable to rodent intrusions. By routinely checking the following areas, you can locate where rats and mice may attempt to make their way indoors. It’s important to make any repairs promptly and, in general, keep a tidy home and yard to prevent rodents. The eight main locations to check and make repairs include:

  • Roof
  • Vents
  • Screens
  • Vegetation
  • Gutters
  • Outside
  • Garage
  • Foundation

 

Winter Rodent Prevention

If after reviewing our 8-point checklist, you discover areas of your home needing repair, or more specifically, areas showing definite pest activity, the experts at Active Pest Control can help. We specialize in preventing pest problems before they begin, which is why we can help implement rodent control for your home for the winter. To learn more about protecting your home from rats and mice, give our team a call today!