Category Archives: General

General Discussion

Living with Bugs? Don’t look under the bed!

Aside from pets, family members, or short or long term guests, many of us often go weeks without seeing another living thing in our homes. But appearances can be deceiving. We are, in fact, surrounded by arthropods—insects, spiders, mites, centipedes, and other animals with hard external skeletons and jointed legs. They are the most successful animals on the planet, and the walls of our homes, that Arthropods color flyshield us from the elements, are no barriers to them. In fact, these creatures are incredibly adaptable, so the habitats we create for ourselves quickly become their habitats.

Through all of human history, insects and their relatives (collectively known as arthropods) have been our constant companions. We compete with them for food, use them as resources, and – whether we like it or not – share our homes with them.

In the first systematic census of its kind, a team of entomologists, working under the program, Arthropods of our Homes , combed through 50 American houses for every arthropod they could find, and discovered a startling amount of diversity. Each home had between 3graph of insects in home2 and 211 species, belonging to between 24 and 128 families. These bugs are our closest creaturely neighbors, and we barely register the existence of most of them.

In this study the most commonly found arthropods were flies, spiders, beetles, ants and book lice.  Of course, seasonality, climate and physical environment (rural, urban or city) make a difference in the number and type of these creatures that turn up in our homes, but the fact is they are there.  More studies are now taking place throughout the U.S. and in other countries to see just what we are really living with.

“I hope this doesn’t put fear in people’s minds that they’re being overrun or that they live in unclean homes,” says Matthew Bertone from North Carolina State University, who led the study. “People have been living with these animals for centuries. This is just something that is.”

Learn more about Arthropods: http://robdunnlab.com/projects/arthropods-of-our-homes/learn-more-about-your-arthropods/

Arthropods of the great indoors: https://peerj.com/articles/1582/

Arthropods Invade Our Homes: http://ijpr.org/post/arthropods-invade-our-homes#stream/0

Need help getting rid of unwanted pests?  We have the  Power!  http://www.corkyspest.com/

 

Know the Facts. Mosquito Season’s Coming Early This Year.

Every year new facts and control techniques for insect pests are circulated among the masses.  This year with the mosquito borne Zika virus and West Nile virus being in the news, stories, testimonials and cheap, homemade solutions touting successful control and eradication, of these pests, will be circulating like mad. making insect repellents

The reality is that there will probably always be homemade remedies for the control of insects and other pests. While we can never say that there is no merit in them, they are seldom if ever as good as their advertisers say they will be.

This much you should know. Eating garlic, installing electronic ultrasonic gadgets, performing voodoo, planting special shrubs, putting sheets of fabric softener in your pockets, wearing citronella wrist bands and sprinkling various concoctions from the refrigerator or the medicine cabinet around the yard are not viable solutions for mosquito problems, despite what appears on the web or what neighbors and friends might think.

Don’t get caught up in the mosquito control mania.  Don’t waste your valuable time and money.

Insect pest management is a complex science in which thousands of our brightest and most accomplished laboratory and field scientists spend their entire careers, some their entire lives. In one area of public health pest management – mosquito control – hundreds of millions ofscientist and mosquito dollars are spent each year to work on new and better ways to control mosquitoes in an effort to reduce the over one million fatalities due to malaria and other mosquito borne diseases each year. It is a massive effort and it has been going on for hundreds of years in nearly every country of the world.  If eating garlic worked, these people would have figured that out by now, saved millions of lives and made a lot of money in the process.

It is said, “Nature will always find a way” (as quoted from the Jurassic Park movie) but we can always take steps to slow her down and right now is the time to start.  Putting preventative measures in place now is important.

With unseasonably, warm weather, mosquito season may be starting early this year so, now’s the time to “Fight The Bite”!  

  • Maintain your property so that there are no standing water sources such as a neglected or out of order swimming pool, hot tub, spa, pond or fountain. Empty rain barrels, cans, buckets, jars, floyard workwer pots, old tires, toys or anything else that can hold water. Stagnant water provides the perfect breeding grounds. Well maintained water features with good water circulation discourages mosquito breeding. Moving water will effectively drown mosquito larva.
  • Reduce watering in landscaped areas. Avoid creating puddles and overly damp grassy areas. Mosquitoes will breed in less than ¼ inch of water.
  • Cut back dense foliage to open areas to the sun. This takes away resting areas, encourages moisture evaporation and improves plant health.
  • Add bacillus thuringiensis (BT) to the water in a pond, fountain or birdbath to kill larvae and aid in mosquito control. BT is a harmless natural substance that is safe for pets, fish, birds and wild life but is deadly to all kinds of larvae.
  • Stock mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) in bird baths, fountains, ornamental ponds, water gardens, unused pools, spas etc., and animal water troughs. The young fish will eat mosquito larvae as fast as they can hatch out of their eggs. Most county vector control programs provide these fish free of charge.
  • Spray the entire yard including shrubbery monthly or more often with a mixtuspraying plants and shrubsre of natural pyrethrins, BT and neem oil for mosquito control.

 

  • Install or repair screens, don’t leave unscreened windows or doors standing open.
  • Move outdoor lights away from doorways. Lights attract insects. Place yellow light bulbs in patio lamps for use during evenings and at night during summertime. Orange-yellow lights do not attract mosquitoes and other flying insects as readily as white bulbs.
  • Burn citronella candles or torches on or around the patio or other outdoor areas where activities are being performed. The more the better. Mosquitoes travel upwind at 1 1/2 to 3 mph. Place citronella in their fligcandleht path. Citronella does not kill mosquitoes but repels them when they come in contact with the smoke or vapors. It also masks human odors and the CO2 that we breathe, hiding us from the mosquitoes. Citronella candles and torches become less effective in breezy or windy conditions.
  • To protect yourself: Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, wear light colored clothing (cover arms and legs) and use a Deet product as a repellmosquito repellant sprayent.

Your Pest Control Professionals are educated in mosquito control methods and the latest effective control products.    Let them help you keep as mosquito free as humanly possible this year.

 

Mosquito Myths: http://www.mosquitoworld.net/mosquito-myths/

 

Mosquito Control Myths: https://cameronwebb.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/busting-the-five-myths-of-mosquito-repellents/

http://insects.about.com/od/insectpests/a/mosquitocontrol_3.htm

What Zika means to those living in Southern California

In the 21st century, no place on earth is more than a day from any other place. Therefore, diseases with short incubation periods, such as Zika, have unprecedented opportunities for rapid spread through human movement. All travelers, regardless of the purpose, duration, or distance of their journey, should take steps to prevent bringing more than luggage to and from their destinations. This being said, what does the Zika outbreak in South America mean to people living in Southern California.

Southern California, being a world renowned travel destination, is prime for the introduction of diseases and viruses that infect humanity.  Currently, mosquito borne viruses are in the news because of their devastating impact on human life in tropical and subtropical regions such as Africa, Southeast Asia, South America and our closest neighbor, Mexico.  The newest concern, the Zika virus, has been documented only in a few people, here in California, who were infected while traveling outside the United States. This situation could change dramatically if the mosquitoes that harbor and spread this disease (and others), migrate here on imported goods, or on or inside people themselves.  Infection becomes a vicious circle; Mosquito to Man to Mosquito and on and on…..

Fortunately, the two mosquitos of the Aedes species, the a. aegypti and the a. alAedes Mosquitoes in Southern Californiabopictus, are not native to Southern California.  However, since 2011 they have been detected in several California counties including San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles and in others including San Diego county in 2015.

Zika is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing. It cannot be caught by being in close proximity to someone exhibiting symptoms.  It is not contagious in this manner.  Recently, it has been reported to have been transferred through sexual contact by persons who were infected while visiting or living in an area where Zika is prevalent. The incubation period of the desease is typically between 2 and 7 days before symptoms present themselves.  Infection lasts, like the common cold, 10 to 21 days (these figures vary depending on the expert cited).

Mosquito Season:

Here in Southern California Mosquito season normally starts in early March or tmosquito usa map purpleypically
when temperatures reach a constant 10°C or 50° F or more. This is when female mosquitoes feel comfortable laying eggs and the eggs can mature and hatch. Combine this with wet weather and you have the perfect conditions for masses of mosquitoes. The mosquito season reaches its peak during the hot summer months.  Depending on where you live, the start time of the mosquito season will vary.

When is mosquito season over? Again, the temperature plays an important factor. As the weather begins to cool, you’ll likely notice a decrease in the level of mosquito activity on your property. Non-hibernating mosquitoes will begin to die off as the temperature approaches the 50° F mark, while the hibernating species will start to seek winter refuge in hollow logs, abandoned animal burrows and other convenient hiding spots.

The first frost is usually a reliable sign of the end of mosquito season.

Prepare Before Mosquito Season Arrives:

Many property owners wait until they see a swarm of mosquitoes – or until they have been bitten – to begin the mosquito control process. However, by this time, infestation has probably already occurred. The actual preparation for mosquito season should begin much earlier, before the mosquitoes have had the chance to lay eggs.

Remember, as the weather warms, the mosquito breeding cycle time shortens, which ultimately results in an increase in the number of mosquitoes on your property. This means you’ll want to get started while the weather is chilly – before the temperature consistently reaches that magical 50° F.

Mosquito Prevention:  

At Home:

Maintaining your property during mosquito season helps substantially. Since mosquitoes grow and multiply in standing water, make sure there are no nearby puddles or bird water feeders to attract them. Bright-colored clothing attracts bugs, so wear neutral, light-colored clothing to avoid advertising your blood. The best insect repellents are lotions or sprays containing DEET. They’re not recommended for use on infants and toddlers. For use on children consult your physician. The EPA states that DEET is safe for adults when used as directed.

For more information, go to: http://www.corkyspest.com/mosquitoes.html

While Traveling:  What the CDC recommends.

  • There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites:
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
  • Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children aged >2 months.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

For more information, go to: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/zika-virus-south-america

Mosquitoes are in the news again and the news isn’t good!

Mosquitoes have been the bane of man’s existence for centuries, or should I say millenniums.  Not only are they annoying, buzzing around our heads, their bites itching and looking red and ugly, they carry diseases that have killed millions maybe billions over the centuries.  These tiny disease carrying, female dive bombers don’t discriminate, their targets are anything or anyone that can supply them with a blood meal so they can produce eggs.  Their life imperative is to reproduce and their ability to do so is being enhanced by the “El Nino” conditions effecting our environment.  Warmer temperatures and an increase in wet, moist environments provide the prefect breeding conditions.

“Half of the global population is at risk of a mosquito-borne disease,” says Frances Hawkes from the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich. “They have had an untold impact on human misery.”

According to the American Mosquito Control Association, there are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, and at least 176 of them can be found in the United States. The most common, and most dangerous, are the various species in the Culex, Anopheles, and Aedes genera.

The most prevalent is the Culex Mosquito, Culex pipiens, known as the northern hculex mosquitoouse mosquito. It is the main carrier of West Nile virus.

 

Two Aedes mosquitoes are also carriers of dangerous diseaseAedes albopictus, the AsianTiger mosquito, transmits Dengue fever and Eastern equine encephaiitis.

Aedes Albopictus- Asian Tiger Mosquito
Aedes Albopictus- Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Aedes aegypti, the Yellow fever mosquito, transmits Dengue, Yellow fever and now the Zika virus, which is said to cause the birth defect known as Microcephaly or small head syndrome.

Aedes Aegypti -
Aedes Aegypti –

Anopheles Mosquitoes are the carriers of the parasite that causes Malaria and transmits the parasite through their saliva when they bite. More than one

anopheles mosquitomillion deaths each year are attributed to malaria passed on by Anopheles mosquitoes.

 

The scientific world is arguing over the need for measures to eradicate the mosquito completely. Those for complete eradication or the extinction of the mosquito are opposed by those that see the benefits to nature that over half the known species provide, including pollination, as a food source for birds and bats while their young – as larvae – are consumed by fish and frogs. They argue, extinction could have an effect further up and down the food chain. Mosquitoes have also protected our rain forests by their very existence, keeping man and the destruction he causes, away from these necessary eco-environments.

While the experts argue, what can we do to protect ourselves?  The CDC recommends staying away from known mosquito infested areas and contact a pest control professional if problems are closer to home.

Pest management professionals are NOT experts in discussing the Zika virus or any other disease, nor can they speculate on its potential to spread. However, they ARE experts in mosquitoes and effective mosquito control and can help educate the public on how to avoid contact with mosquitoes, both while traveling and at home, and how to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and reducing biting mosquito populations.

For Facts about Mosquitoes:

http://www.corkyspest.com/mosquitoes/mosquito-identification.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35408835

 For Facts about the Zika Virus:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcephaly

http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/10-essential-facts-about-zika-virus/

https://weather.com/health/news/facts-about-zika-virus

 

Bionic Ants. Revolutionizing Our Future Workforce.

 

Ants may be the perfect workers – they share chores, solve complex problems and work themselves to death without complaint.

And now the behavior and appearance of nature’s most hard working insect has been copied in plastic and metal, with the creation of BionicANTS by the German engineering firm Festo and its Bionic LearniRobot insectng Network. This company is using biomimicry, the practice of incorporating nature into mechanical development, to develop technologies that can be used to automate factories.

Festo’s main objective in the creation of these ants and other bioAnt for bionic ant pagenic insects (butterflies) is to improve factory robotics.  The developers, at Festo, say it’s not just the unusual anatomy of real-world ants that inspired the bionic version – the collective intelligence of an ant colony was also something they wanted to replicate.

These 3D printed, hand-sized, robotic ants work together to complete difficult tasks, such as manipulating a large object, as real ants do in nature. Sensors enable an ant to be aware of its surroundings and the robotic insects communicate over a wireless network to coordinate their actions.

Each ant is capable of making independent decisions, but in doing so it is always guided by the common objective and thereby plays its part towards solving the task at hand.

Researchers say these bionic insects could one day be used in place of humans in factories.

Our future may see bionic ants in our factories, but right now, keeping the real thing out of our homes and yards is a never ending battle for homeowners and pest professionals alike.

Need help? http://www.corkyspest.com/ants_new.html

 

El Nino will bring more than wet weather to Southern California.

The wet weather pattern blamed for this winter’s record snowfall in the East and mudslides in the West — is expected to wreak more havoc this spring with a surge in insects and other pests.

When there’s an increase in water, there’s an increase in vegetation growth, an increase in food supply and an increase in harborage (places to nest) and an overall increase in pest populations.

Rodents, Termites, Ants, Spiders, Roaches, Sow bugs and Mosquitoes will all see an upswing in their populations.

Look out for these pests.

Rodent populations are sensitive to weather conditions.  When inclement weather hits, rodents will look for shelter from the rain. As a result, homeowners often experience an increase irat in rain with suitcasen indoor infestations.  Outdoors, the rain and warmer weather brings an increase in food supply (seeds, nuts and small insects) which spurs an increase in breeding and therefor, increased population.

The Western Subterranean Termite.  This native pest can enter structurwestern subterranean termiteses through cracks less than one-thirty-second of an inch wide, including tiny openings in concrete slabs, around drain pipes and in between the slab and a home’s foundation.  Most swarming occurs in the spring, but with increased moisture levels, additional swarms may occur throughout the summer and fall.

Wet conditioArgetine ant colonyns will also create a field day for ants, including the highly invasive Argentine Ant, whose massive colonies can be found along the West Coast and parts of the Eastern and Gulf Coast states. The Argentine ant has few natural enemies here, so they can quickly knock out the native ants. When Argentine ants get inside a house, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Red Imported Fire Ants also have invaded parts of the West, expanding their range every year. They are extremely resilient and have adapted so well that they can survive both floodsFire Ants make living raft and droughts. The picture to the right shows a live ant raft floating in flood waters.

Fire ants are known to become ferocious if their nests are disturbed, and their painful bite and sting carries venom that can be medically hazardous to some individuals.

While October typically marks the end of Mosquito season, heavy rains across the Southern Western United States have led to a second mosquito Feeding mosquito with human bloodseason. The heavy rains have provided ample areas of standing water, ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Temperatures remaining above 50 F in these areas have also created ideal conditions, allowing mosquitoes to thrive past the typical season.

Now is the time to mount a defensive position against the hordes of spring invaders. Your first line of defense being the elimination of harborage areas by cutting weeds and grass, thinning and cutting back shrubs and trees (keeping them off structures) and eliminating areas of standing water to deprive mosquitoes of breeding sites. Your second line of defense, your pest control professional, is then equipped to handle anything  else that mounts an invasion.

So dash between the rain drops and fortify your perimeter, the hordes will soon be on the march!

More information on El Nino and Insects in Southern California.

Insects Set for Spring Surge

El Niño May Bring an Unwelcome Insect Invasion to Southern California

Ant Facts to Start the New Year!

Holidays are over, a new year has begun, the kids are back in school and researching ant behavior and biology is my assignment this week so that I can pass on unique information about these abundant, complex and interesting creatures.

So finding out that Ants, who by the way, never take holidays, are the first in nature to actually hold class and train others in a vAnts Teamworkital skill, was news to me.  I always thought that ants were born knowing everything they needed to know to survive.  The notion of “Hive Memory and Pheromone Trails” being firmly entrenched in my knowledge bank.  Well here’s a new bit of knowledge to add to the bank.

There are certain Ants that teach each other how to find food by using a push, pull, pock and prants tandem runningod method, called “tandem running” In a new series of studies, researchers observed the first non-human example of formal instruction between a teacher and student in which two-way feedback initiates course adjustment and where both teacher and student modify their behavior to provide guidance at a rate appropriate for the student’s abilities.

When worker ants (always female) set out to find food they bring along another ant, and by employing “tandem running”, she teaches this second ant where to find food.

This process is slow, since the follower pauses every so often, creating a gap between the leader and herself, to acknowledge landmarks important for return trips.  When the follower is ready to continue, she hurries to catch up to the leader and taps her on the hind legs signaling her readiness to move on.  The leader will slow her progress if the gap between her and her pupil becomes to great and the opposite occurs if the gap becomes too small.

Why do ants take the time to instruct in this manner?  According to Nigel Franks, (University of Bristol professor with expertise in Animal Communications, Zoology and Ecology), study leader and foremost ant researcher states, “They are very close nest mates and their society as a whole, benefits from this behavior”. He also states that, “This behavior indicates that it could be the value of information, rather than the constraint of brain size, that has influenced the evolution of teaching.”

Other Interesting Ant Facts:

  1. Ants are capable of carrying objects 50 times their own body weight with their mandibles.
  2. Soldier ants use their heads to plug the entrances to their nests and keep intruders from gaining access.
  3. Certain ant species defend plants in exchange for food and shelter.
  4. Ants will enslave other ants, keeping them captive and making them do work for the colony.
  5. Ants started farming long before humans.

Have questions about ants or just want to get rid of them, check out the following link: http://www.corkyspest.com/ultimate/ultimate-service.html

Insect Trivia: Who’s got The Most Toxic Venom?

The insect with the most toxic venom is not necessarily the most painful or the most lethal. Pain is a really subjective. What some might find excruciating, others might feel as merely uncomfortable. We can’t compare venom on the basis of incidence statistics, either, since people’s immune systems respond differently to the same venom. For those with bee venom allergies, a bee sting can be deadly, though the venom itself is not that toxic.

To compare insect venoms and determine which is the most toxic, an objective way to measure them is needed. A standard measure used in toxicology studies is the LD50, or median lethal dose. The higher the LD50 the lower the toxicity rate.

The LD50 measurement determines the amount of a toxin, relative to body weight, that is required to kill exactly half of a given population of organisms. In this study, researchers tested insect venom on mice to compare and rank their toxicity.Harvester Ant Maricopa

Ok, which insect is the most toxic? The harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex maricopa. one of the most common species of harvester ants found in the southwestern United States. With an LD50 measurement of just 0.12 mg per kg of body weight, the harvester ant venom is far more toxic than that of any bees, wasps, or other ants.

By comparison, honey bee venom has an LD50 measure of 2.8, and a yellow jacket’s venom has an LD50 of 3.5 per kg of body weight.

So, it takes just 12 stings from the venomous harvester ant to take out a 4 1/2 pound animal or three hundred and fifty (350) stings to kill a 150 pound human.

If you plan on roaming around the desert areas of the Southwestern U.S., watch your step, cause these guys pack a wallop!

Don’t Bring Pests into your Home for the Holidays- 5 Helpful Tips

Decorating for the holidays is great fun, but make sure to take a few moments to inspect holiday decorations for signs of pests before bringing thespider-found-in-holiday-decorationsm indoors. No one wants to deal with a pest infestation-especially during the holidays.

Boxes of stored decorations, firewood and greenery – including those hand-cut Christmas trees – can
hide rodents, ants, spiders and even spider eggs.

The following tips are provided to help you keep pest free this
holiday season:

  • Shake off trees, wreaths and garlands and carefully inspect them for pests or eggs that may be hiding in the branches before bringing them inside.
  • If copying a DIY natural decoration from Pinterest or other craft site, thoroughly inspect all foliage and greenery outside the home before beginning projects.
  • Store firewood on a raised structure that is located at least 20 feet away from the home and brush off wood before bringing it indoors.
  • After pulling decorations out of storage, unpack them outdoors to check for pests, such as mice. Look inside boxes for rodent droppings or gnaw marks, especially on strings of lights to eStoring Holiday Decorationsnsure the wiring is fully intact.
  • When storing decorations after the holiday season, use durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through instead of cardboard boxes or plastic bags.

The National Pest Management Association(NPMA) encourages homeowners to examine holiday décor for signs of pests before decking the halls.

Following these pest prevention tips will go a long way in protecting against unwanted intruders this winter. If you suspect an infestation, a qualified pest professional can evaluate the problem and recommend an action plan.

Keep the “Stress Grinch” from ruining your Holiday Spirit!

The holidays should be a joyful time, giving a chance to reconnect with friends and family. But they can also be extremely stressful, especially if unwanted guests like, Ants, Spiders, Pantry Pests or Rats decide to make a holiday appearance at your home.  If one of these pests is adding to your holiday stress, here are some tips on how to un-invite them and send them packing.

Always rBlog for holiday stressemember, the safest and most effective extermination methods are those performed by a pest control professional.

 

 

Ants:

  • Practice good sanitation measures especially in the kitchen. Ants are attracted to the food we leave behind.
  • Cover food and liquid substances tightly and keep surfaces clean.
  • Sweep floors and vacuum your carpets. The tiniest crumbs can attract ants.
  • Always cover and seal the food that’s not in the fridge.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Keep trash cans and bins clean and take the trash out often.
  • Keep your countertops dry. Don’t allow liquids to accumulate on counters and other surfaces. Ants look for water wherever they can find it.
  • Fix dripping faucets.

Spiders:

  • Vacuum up spiders, egg cases, and webs. Use the crevice tool to get into all cracks and crevices. Your vacuum is your most effective spider-control tool!
  • Remove clutter and control humidity in attics, basements, and other dark areas. Seal stored boxes with tape or use plastic storage boxes with tight-sealing lids.
  • Spiders generally enter homes through cracks and crevices around the foundation, or doors and windows. Install door sweeps. Seal or caulk entry points and make sure windows and doors fit tightly.
  • The use of pesticides indoors may help control other insects that spiders feed on, but they don’t provide long-term spider control.

Pantry Pests:

  • Don’t put exposed food on shelves. Place it in containers with tight-fitting lids; plastic bags aren’t adequate.
  • Regularly clean shelves, bins, and all other locations where there is any possibility of flour or other food particles accumulating. Certain pests need only small amounts of food to live and breed. Soap and water are great for cleaning flat areas, and vacuuming with a crevice attachment will help clean cracks, edges, and corners.
  • Don’t mix old and new lots of foodstuffs. If the old material is infested, the pest will quickly invade the new.
  • Clean old containers before filling them with fresh food. They may be contaminated and cause a new infestation.
  • Don’t purchase broken or damaged packages of food materials. They are more likely to become infested.
  • Construct storage containers so that they are tight and can be easily cleaned.
  • Store bulk materials, such as pet foods, in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Keep storage containers dry. This is important because moisture favors the development of pantry pests, while dryness discourages them.
  • Some pantry insects breed in the nests of rodents and insects and may migrate from these into homes. Eliminate any nests found in or near the home.

Rats:  To stop rats from invading the inside, they must first be controlled outside.

  • Feed pets only the amount of food they will eat at a single feeding or bring food inside at night.
  • Keep garbage, trash, and garden debris in receptacles with tight-fitting lids.
  • Thin dense vegetation and create at least a 2-foot space between each shrub as well as between shrubs and buildings.
  • Thin or remove climbing hedges from buildings.
  • Remove tree limbs that are within 3 feet of a roof.
  • Seal all cracks and openings in the house’s foundation that are larger than 1/4 inch.
  • Make sure doors, windows, and screens fit tightly.

Rat Proofing your home

  • Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under the eaves.
  • Provide a tight-fitting cover for the crawl space.
  • Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
  • Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
  • Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
  • Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
  • Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
  • Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.