Carpenter Ants in Missouri

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Best exterminator for Carpenter Ants in St. Louis

So you are looking for the best pest control company or exterminator to rid your home and yard of Carpenter Ants?  The answer is simple, Gateway Pest Control is the best most affordable solution for Carpenter Ants in the St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson County area.  In fact, we are so confident in our abilities we will make the following suggestion.  Call a handful of other exterminators and then call us (636) 525-1008.  Ask for a quote and advice on Carpenter Ants and then simply choose the company you feel honestly answered your questions.  Nine out ten callers end up booking service with Gateway Pest.

Why?  We understand Carpenter Ants are harder to control than many other types of ants.  And as such our technicians are adequately licensed to deal with any situation.  Most exterminators are not qualified to treat beyond the boundaries of your home.  As such they avoid answering questions about attacking ants at their nest, they simply want to spray the interior and exterior walls and call it good.

Oh sure protecting the boundaries of your home will temporarily keep the ants out of  your home, and even delay them from destroying your deck for a month or two.  But in the end the poison will weaken and they will attack again.  The other companies will gladly sign you up on a quarterly plan and return every three months to spray your home, and yet they will never attempt to destroy the ant colony.  The primary reason really is unclear; maybe they don’t truly understand the challenge, or lack the proper training, but most likely it is because they are not licensed to treat beyond the boundaries of your home and thus never think to attack the ants in their home instead of your home.

At Gateway Pest Control we use a three prong approach when dealing with ants.  First, like every other exterminator in town we will spray the interior and exterior of your home.  Realising that just spraying chemicals alone will not solve the problem we move on to step two, baiting.  Ants are constantly looking for a food supply, if  you are seeing large numbers of ants inside your home chances are they have found a food supply and aided by pheromones invited the entire colony.  We train our techs to use the ants biology against them by placing bait in the high traffic areas.  Basically we supply them with a poison pill designed to destroy the colony as they share the bounty of their search.

Baiting is a critical step in destroying an ant colony, however rarely does it work entirely as a stand alone approach, and thus step actually attacking the ant colony.  When possible we apply two types of control, liquid and granules.  The liquid chemical is instant death with a residual affect that will continue to control the ants for weeks.  The granules are a similar chemistry but their formulation allows them to remain in place for months and ultimately are what destroys the colony solving your issue with carpenter ants.

Simply stated to solve your ant, especially carpenter ant problem just call Gateway Pest Control at (636) 525-1008 or (314) 291-7622

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When Your Client Needs Professional Help….

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18th, 2011 by Gateway
www.gatewaypestcontrol.com
Best Exterminator in St. Louis

The phone rings…

I find myself speaking to a new customer who feels something “biting”, but describes it as a burning sensation.  He schedules a high priority spray quite willing to pay for after hours service.  The technician assigned to treat the home find little if any signs of pest, but notes the signs of excessive chemical use.  Most notably stains on the walls and around the baseboards.  Routine questioning reveals the client has attempted to self treat.  Translation dozens of cans of Raid have been sprayed throughout the home.  So much in fact that the carpet is stain for inches around the baseboards.

As the technicain continues through the questions we have trained in these situations the picture begins to develop.  Other pest control companies have visited this home before us, however their employees simply sprayed the home, collected their pay and left knowing they would talk about the thin client for weeks to come.  However, the numerous call backs soon made the easy money less than desirable.  And yet they could find no pest present, nor did trapping produce any proof of life.

Further conversations with the client show his doctors cannot find a cause and there are no BITE marks.  And with that our tech informs the prospective client we will not spray the property because there is no visible sign of an insect population.

A tough call after all we normally drive our techs to grow the business.  But in this case another company’s technician has already fogged the place and sprayed several times, but still the customer complains that the “biting” continues. Continuing to treat the property is the wrong path to take, and can only get that technician into deep doo-doo. Even if there truly is a biting pest present, without knowing exactly what it is you would not be able to go about a control effort in the most effective way. Generally spraying pesticides around is not likely to get to the source of many possible pest problems. You might continue to try the monitoring and trapping program until you are reasonably certain no arthropod pest is present in this home that could account for the sensations this person is experiencing, and hopefully your negative results will also convince the customer that bugs are not the cause.

This is the tough part – convincing the customer, who may already have his mind set that bugs are the cause, and YOU simply cannot see them or capture them. Another issue here is that even if this person showed you marks on their skin that they claim came from bites of some bug, there really is no way either you or the doctors could look at them and definitively say that they are bug bites, much less determine what KIND of bug is causing them based just on the bite marks. There are dozens of other possible causes of skin conditions – bumps, rashes, necrotic sores – that are not related to arthropods, and any of these might be occurring. Unfortunately for the customer, but fortunately for you, YOU are not in the position to try to determine what is causing the sensations other than for arthropods, and a dermatologist is probably the best next resource for this person to consult with.

Just why people focus on “a bite” as the reason they are feeling these things is hard to say. Maybe a friend or co-worker planted the suggestion, or the internet – you know, that vast library of factoids and misinformation – could have been the resource consulted. Even doctors appear inclined to take a stab at it when they are stumped by suggesting that maybe there are rat mites or spiders or fleas in the home, and no one questions a medical expert. There is ample evidence that people who use cocaine and meth will experience the sensation of bugs crawling on their skin or burrowing into them, but it is not our place to treat drug problems.  And in case you haven’t already guessed this client clearly had a drug issue with residue flung around the home.

Meth use is epic in parts of the United States and as such we find ourselves dealing with more an more folks with those horrible side affects.  We tell our techs they should refuse chemical service and suggest the client contact their dermatologist.  We do however offer to institute a monitoring program with glue traps. Making sure we examine the glue under good magnification, because some biting mites can be pretty small, and might be overlooked without magnification.

In the end our job is to help the client, either via treatment or peace of mind that the home is pest free.  We believe business is all about the ethical choices we make, and we hope our techs always take the high road.

Gateway Pest Control, exterminators serving the I-55 corridor between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  (636) 525-1008

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Are You A Liar?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Pest Control in Arnold, Missouri 63010

The question is pretty simple, are you a liar?  Well are you?…  Okay, okay I can feel your anger, but can I get you to answer just a couple of questions?  Great, let’s begin.

First let me say I think for the most part people are as a whole good.  Yes, of course there is a very tiny percentage of humans that are just pure evil.   But over all if given the chance most people will eventually do the right thing.  That however doesn’t prevent them from being a liar, you see most people lie every day….  In fact I’ll bet you told a lie in the last 48 hours.  Don’t believe me?  Then answer my first question:  In the last couple of days have you indulged with excessive calories that you told yourself was okay because you would eat good the rest of the day or even burn off the fat with extra exercise?

Tricky question?  Maybe, but truth be told when people lie it is most often to themselves.  Yes, you could call yourself a liar!!!  Whether it’s cake at the office birthday party, donuts at the morning meeting or fast food when time runs short people routinely fib to cover actions they know are bad.  I choose food as my example because it applies to nearly everyone, but each of us as individuals have other issues that make us liars. 

What makes you a liar?  Is your credit card debt?  Your bed time?  Your chore list?  The list of possibilities is endless, but by now I’m sure you see that for one reason or another you are in fact a liar.

In the examples seen above the lies told are not intentional, for the most part they are only lies because of a failure to pay attention to detail.  You really believe you are going to burn off the extra calories, stop over spending and go to bed on time, but life gets in the way, one thing leads to another and you my friend are a liar, if only to yourself.

But then you cross the line, someone questions you about your actions and you tell them the same line you told yourself.  When you fall short you became a liar in their eyes.

So what does your status as a liar have to do with pest control? 

Do you need your home treated today?  That simple question makes many people a liar whether they realize it or not!  I love meeting people and introducing them to our business.  One of my favorite things to do is walk door to door passing out information about Gateway Pest Control.  As I visit each home I always look around for signs of pest, some homes are absolutely perfect with not so much as a hint of critters.  However, in over 75% of the homes I visit there are clear signs of an insect problem and yet only 1% of those homes will schedule service.

I have stood under spiderwebs so large they would do the Munsters proud and been told by a home owner they never see bugs around their home. 

Why?  For many the answer is how do you enter your home?  We are a society built around the automobile and as such many people don’t even carry a key to their house always entering through the garage.  It may sound funny, but some people never see their home the same way a visitor does and as a result they never notice the assortment of spiders living in and around their porch.

I didn’t mention other insects primarily because spiders are a tell tale sign.  Spiders depend upon other insects for their food supply, thus anytime you see an abundunce of spiders know they are only there because they have found an excellent food supply.  In short, you have an insect problem that has grown to the point of becoming a spider issue as well.

Spiders are not the only issues I see that have gone unnoticed, just this past weekend I visited a home  that had active termites in the frontyard, just inches away from the home.  The over grown shrubs told me only an occasional visitor ever used the front door and as such “critters” were free to call the property home.  These home owners routinely tell me they if they ever need service they will call, but I know by the time they realize the seriousness of their problem my brochure and business card will have long been discarded.

Then there are home owners that toss my information in the trash as I walk away all the time thinking they keep their home so clean they never have to worry about bugs….  Yes, many of the people I meet are liars and they never even realize.

When was the last time you looked at your home like it was the first time you ever saw it?  Start on the curb, maybe by your mailbox and slowly walk to the front door.  Look for ants on the sidewalk and around the foundation, spider webs on the eves and porch corners.  Maybe your property will be spotless, but chances are you will see the reason we exist.  You can reach me directly at (636) 525-1008

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The Best Pest Control in St. Louis and Jefferson County Missouri

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Best pest control in St. Louis, Jefferson County Missouri  Discounts on pest control

Who do you call in St. Louis, Missouri if you have ants?  Or maybe your problem is a bee hive, or hornet’s nest.  Of course you could have spiders, or a host of thousands of other insects invading your home.  Maybe the threat includes rodents, for instance rats and mice.  But which is the best pest control company in St. Louis?  Which is the cheapest pest control company in St. Louis?  Which is the highest quality pest control service in St. Louis?  Does St. Louis mean Saint Louis, or does it cover the entire metro area including Jefferson and St. Charles County?

 Worried about termites?  Can termites attack my home in St. Louis?  Which exterminator should I call for termites?

 Are pest control companies exterminators?  So which is the best exterminator in St. Louis? 

 Are you tired yet?  I’m writing this goblycluck and I’m tired, so surely you’re wondering where this is headed.  Today’s article is about how to find the best pest control company in Jefferson County, St. Louis County and St. Louis city.  Or it could be about how our company, Gateway Pest Control tries to find you.

One of the most frustrating things in running a business is finding new customers.  We are extremely proud of the services we provide and are confident once we have earned a shot at your business we’ll keep your business for years to come.  The hard part is keeping our company’s name on your lips, or speed dial when you have a problem the first time.

Of course we have lots of options ranging from TV, radio, yellow pages to the internet and of course word of mouth.  When was the last time you talked about your exterminator?  Maybe you neighbor mentions he has a bug problem and you tell how Gateway Pest Control saved your home, but more likely your friend is too ashamed to acknowledge a problem.  Pest problems are often wrongly associated with filth; yes having a dirty home can bring on an insect or rodent problem.  But even the cleanest home can have a problem, and just so you know every museum has a standing contact for pest control.  Yes, you read that right, even buildings that are always perfectly clean, don’t allow food or drink and are professionally maintained require pest control services.  In short, there is no shame in needing help from a pest control or extermination professional.

A decade ago you might have rushed to the Yellow Pages to find a pest control company, but one of my long term clients summed it up best; “…I never hire the biggest ad in the yellow pages, because I don’t want to pay for the biggest ad in the yellow pages!”  You hear radio ads for various types of businesses that are actually quite surprising, for instance portable toilet ads seem to dominate some St. Louis radio stations, again the cost must be passed on to the consumer and radio isn’t exactly cheap.  One local show offered to mention our company once per day Monday through Friday in a spot that would last about one minute for just $600 a week if we would commit to a minimum of six months. 

Yes, marketing is expensive but we haven’t answered your question how do you find the best pest control service in St. Louis, St. Charles or Jefferson County Missouri?  You simply call (636) 525-1008, a pest control professional will answer you call, provide you with free assistance and schedule service if needed.

Gateway Pest Control takes great pride in having never lost a client because they weren’t happy with our service.  If given the chance we firmly believe we’ll be your bug man for years to come.

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com for the best pest control in your area.

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Rough Sex, Why It’s Important To You.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4th, 2011 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Best Cheapest, quality pest control Missouri, serving Jefferson County

For our normal readers the title of today’s article may be a little shocking, for those of you that googled us I am pretty sure you never thought ROUGH SEX would lead you to a pest control company.  But atlas, it is true that rough sex may impact you.

If you came here looking for beautiful women, whips and chains or even just a left hook I’m sorry to say you’ll be disappointed.  In fact, the rough sex we are talking about today is more commonly called Traumatic Insemination.  You might call it rape, or abuse if the participants were human.  But we are a pest control company, and as such our topic is Bed Bugs. 

Our clients frequently ask questions concedrning why Bed Bugs are often found in rooms far from beds?  The answer is rough sex, traumatic insemination if you will. 

The relationship between male and female bed bugs is not that of loving mates, or even companions, but that of abusers.  Male bed bugs will mate with any female bed bug and as often as they can, regardless of the females desires.   Because of this “rough sex” female bed bugs will often attempt to escape the torment by fleeing thus their population may be widespread throughout your home.

This is important to you because it is both expensive and time consuming to rid your home of bed bugs.  The cost to treat a single room will likely surpass $800, just imagine if they migrate to every room…

 

Do you have a question about a specific topic you would like us to answer?  If so simply email us at Questions@gatewaypestcontrol.com

 

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GPC offers suggestions to protect your home from rodents.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29th, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

St. Louis, Missouri Pest Control, Jefferson County

Amazing how such tiny creatures can destroy your home.

Rodents hate the cold as much as you do and will do anything to keep warm during the harsh winter months.  Since rodents can be extremely aggressive and carry lice, fleas, ticks, and not to mention all sorts of diseases it’s important that you keep them out of your home this winter.

How to Keep Rodents out of Your Home

Clean your house!  Mice and rats are attracted to filth, clutter and open food storage containers.  In order to keep them out wipe off dust, clear away unnecessary piles, and sanitize countertops and crevices including in your garage, attic, and basement.

Rats and mice make their way into your home through the small cracks and crevices in walls, floorboards, window seals and doors.  Seal these up and you’re sure to keep the little buggers out.  Mice can enter your home through a space as small as 1/4 of an inch,  and rats can go through holes 1/2 inch around.  In other words the hole where your cable or Internet service enters you home is large enough to serve as an open door for rodents.

Clean your trash area!  In addition your trash area should be sprayed 4 times per year and constantly baited for rodents.  Since rodents are attracted to food and filth your outside trash area still needs to be kept tidy even if you keep your trash cans at a reasonable distance from your home.  Rats and mice can smell decaying food and other filth from a ways away so seal up your trash bags and lids tightly and don’t leave trash on the ground.

Trapping Rodents?  If you find a rodent in your home there are several different types of traps you can set to catch them. The most common option is the snap trap where bait is set beneath a metal rod that will snap them in half when the bait is lifted.  If you’re not into the killing part you can also try using a live mouse trap which typically involves a box with bait inside and a side panel for trapping them inside alive.  Later, you can set the rodent free somewhere away from your home.

Missouri rodents are instinctively shy and therefore hard to see and eliminate. But rats and mice can be a serious menace. Not only can they destroy your property but they can also spread serious diseases that could harm you and your family. These creatures are sneaky and can even be aggressive. They become dependent on your home for security and can present a serious infestation problem if not dealt with immediately.  Gateway Pest Control will come to your home for all your Missouri Pest Control needs and recommend the quickest and safest method to get rid of your rodent problem.  Call us today to set up an appointment.

Special pricing:  With Christmas less than a month away Gateway Pest Control is running a special on residential rodent control.  For all the but the most severe infestations we will bait your home for rodents for just $95, this includes bait traps that are yours to keep forever, and reduce the cost of future treatments.

 

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Pest Control Do It Yourself Tips

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24th, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Jefferson County Missouri Pest Control serving Arnold, Imperial, Barnhart, South County, St. Louis city and your local area too.  We serve all of Jefferson County

Tips For Keeping Pests Outside Where They Belong

Insects, rodents and other pests are outdoor creatures, but if given the choice they will always try to get in your home. Why?  Because you have created a great environment!  Let me explain, because you have made it so simple for them to find food or water or come in from either the cold or the heat. The trick to keeping them outdoors where they belong is to take every means necessary to prevent their getting in! The old adage holds true for pests as with everything else: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are some quick tips.

Take a nice slow walk around the perimeter of your home. Observe your landscaping closely, and trim hedges and shrubs away from the sides of the structure: not just a few inches, but a foot or even more if possible. If you keep a woodpile, make sure the logs are stacked across the yard and away from the house. Inconvenient in the winter perhaps, but it will help keep pests out in the summer when they are most active.  Not to mention wood piles stacked next to your home is likely to lead to a termite problem.

Check all windows and doors for possible entry points: remember, insects can fit into the tiniest of fissures. Mice can enter a hole as small as 1/4 of an inch and rats can enter1/2 inch openings.  Caulk all small cracks, and then stuff steel wool into larger areas such as gaps where the entry lines for your air conditioner enter the house.

Now take a tour of the inside of your home.  Check all screens on windows first to make sure you don’t have bent frames or space underneath that will allow insects to get in.  Box elder bugs are especially good at getting in this way, and these pests multiply like crazy once they get in: in fact, you may have problems well into the autumn months!

Use caulk if necessary around window and door areas: just as you did on the outside of your home. Check under your sinks and study areas where your water pipes come through the wall. Chances are there are spaces there where all kinds of critters can gain access: seal them off with steel wool.

And of course, for optimum protection you should always have a quality Missouri pest control company like Gateway Pest Control come to your home at least twice a year.  Gateway effectively gets rid of pests using only safe practices and products, so you can be sure the job will be done right.  Gateway may not be able to do anything about your mother-in-law, but when it comes to unwanted guests that have wings or four legs, we’ve got you covered!

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We are having trouble giving money away!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8th, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

Jefferson County Missouri Pest Control serving Arnold, Imperial, Barnhart, South County, St. Louis city and your local area too

Hard to believe, but it’s true we are having trouble giving money away!  It will come as a surprise to no one that America’s economy isn’t exactly purring along.  However, it may surprise you that Gateway Pest Control is trying to give money away, and we’re finding it difficult to do.  Yes, you read that right, we are having trouble giving our money away.

If you are a regular attendee at church, or involved in nearing any non-profit organization I’m sure you are aware that donations are off.  Sadly the impact is reaching those most in need and emergency services that once were readily available are now slipping away.  As a small family owned business we understand America’s money crunch, we live it everyday.  And like most Americans we have said those famous words, “…if I won the lottery I would…..” and of course we all have our special interest we would help support if we actually won the lotto.  Atlas, we have never won…  But it didn’t stop us from dreaming….

Early in 2010 as we were crunching the advertising dollars for FY 2010-11 it became apparent that our over all largest expense was advertising, much of which we really aren’t sure is worth the cost and then someone made the statement, if we didn’t have to spend all this money for people to find us just think how we could help the community!  And with that an idea was born.  We are going to give away our advertising budget and trust the people that benefit from our generosity will spread the word about Gateway Pest Control.

This is the program we developed, any church, non-profit organization or youth group that simply request to be part of our program, will receive 10% of our gross sales when a customer says they want to support that organization.  For instance, if your church is part of the program and you book service with us, we will actually hand you a check made out to your church at the time of service.  There is no question if we follow through, it is done instantly.  And the greatest part is all your organization has to do is share our contact information.

We were proud of our program, created a press release and waiting for the rush.  Much to our surprise some organizations were offended by the program thinking mixing business and their organization was nearly a sin.  We attempted explain all they have to do is make their members aware of our offer, but still some complained.  Some mentioned they didn’t share their members’ contact information, so we explained we don’t contact your members, you tell them about our offer and they contact us only when they need our services.  And yet still confusion continued.

After months of administrating the program I am still amazed how many organizations are not taking advantage of our offer.  I personally know of one local church that publishes weekly in their bulletin how many thousands of dollars their collections are off for the year.  Ironically the number is exactly the same if every member family of their church booked our service just one time in 2010.  Not to mention every home in the St. Louis area should be treated at least twice per year if only for preventative measures.

If you have a child involved in any activity no doubt you have bought or sold something to help fund the program.  Did I mention we will support any youth group regardless if they are officially a non-profit organization or not?  We at Gateway Pest Control believe nothing is more important than our children and thus we gladly open our hearts and wallets to support their activities.  In short, every youth organization in the St. Louis area should be a part of our program, if you know of one feel free to forward our information.

Our goal is to give away at least $100,000 in the next twelve months, with your help we can reach our goal and help our communities to thrive too.

For information regarding our “Tithing Program” simply email us at info@gatewaypestcontrol.com

Again, this is how the program works:

Any church, non-profit organization or youth group may contact Gateway Pest Control and simply say they would like to take part in our program.  At that time we will secure their contact information and provide media materials regarding Gateway Pest Control to provide to their members.  The participating groups must then share our contact information and information regarding the program with their members so they understand how to contact us when they need our services.  From that point it becomes a standard transaction with the exception of our donation back to the organization, which we actually hand to our new client so they know we followed through with our promise.

We typically charge $95 to treat a home in the St. Louis area, though prices can vary if the home is larger than 4,000 square feet or if unattached buildings are also involved.  Thus, our 10% donation is normally $9.50 or in other terms $950 for every 100 families serviced.  Since we started this program from the heart it is very special to us and we have fielded many questions including people questioning our prices.  $95 is our standard charge, our service is simply the very best you can buy.  However, this program is so special to us that we also include our best price guarantee in which we will match any advertised price in the area.  We are sincere in our efforts to give back to the community, we simply need your help to spread the word.

Gateway Pest Control ~ (636) 525-1008

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Every Home Needs Protected

Posted in Uncategorized on October 3rd, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

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We realize the economy is tuff….  Our business is ”living” through the same hard times as everyone else.  And we have seen the effects of the economy on business; clients that once requested bi-annual treatment now get by with quarterly service.  Those on once on quarterly plans call spring and fall and then sadly there are some living with bugs because the economy has forced them to choose between food and comfort.

As I mentioned most clients are now calling spring and fall, lucky for us fall is at hand.  But I wonder how many people actually realize why the fall treatment is so important?  All insects must survive the cold winter months. Some insect species congregate together in large groups as temperatures drop during fall, and seek out locations where they will be protected during winter. Once cold weather is past, they become active again and disperse away from their protected areas.

If an insect ‘congregation’ selected your home to pass the winter, and they were able to get inside through cracks, crevices, vents, or poorly fitting screens and doors, their spring migration may leave them trapped inside your home. Two insect species, the boxelder bug and the multicolored Asian lady beetle, are commonly trapped indoors during the spring and will often appear during late March to early April.
 

What kinds of insects usually get trapped indoors during the spring?
 

Boxelder Bug (Boisea trivittata)

This bug is approximately 1/2″ long. It is mostly black with red lines on its back. Immature stages are mostly red, with black legs and head. These bugs are plant feeders and feed almost exclusively on female (seed-bearing) boxelder trees (Acer negundo). They may also be found on female silver maple trees (Acer saccharinum). They do not feed on male trees, but may occasionally feed on the fruit of apple or plum trees.
 

Boxelder bugs invade homes in October and November and congregate in wall voids and other undisturbed locations. When crushed, they produce a strong odor. Their feces can cause a red stain on curtains, walls, clothing, and other resting places. They have been reported to bite occasionally, which causes a skin irritation and a red spot resembling an ulcer. Adults become active and move outdoors in spring when the boxelder buds open.
 

Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
This lady beetle is approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long and comes in a variety of colors ranging from beige to yellowish-orange to dark reddish-orange with between 0-19 black spots on their body. The area behind the head and in front of the wings is ivory colored with a black M-shaped mark. They are very beneficial insects that feed on several pests of horticultural plants and crops. Adults may live for up to three years.
 

Asian lady beetles invade homes during October and November and congregate in dark, undisturbed locations such as wall voids or attics. When they become active in March or April, large numbers of them may be seen crawling on walls and ceilings inside the home. They do not sting, carry disease or bite. They have not been observed feeding on wood, cloth or stored food items in the home. If these beetles are handled, they will release a defensive chemical, which has a mild odor and may stain walls and fabrics.
 

What should I do now?
 

If these insects appear in your home during the spring, it is too late to solve the problem for this year. It is better to wait until summer and begin preventing next year’s invasion. You can provide immediate relief by using a vacuum cleaner to remove insects that are trying to get outside. If you decide to use the vacuum, remember to remove and seal the vacuum bag immediately. This keeps the insects from escaping and prevents the insect’s odorous defensive secretions from contaminating your vacuum cleaner.

It is very important your home’s protection is up to date, because if you allow insects to invade your home unmollested you may have to live with them all winter.  No attempt should be made to kill these insects while they are passing the winter in wall voids or attics. Killing them without cleaning out all of the dead bodies would provide a food source for scavenger insects like larder beetles and carpet beetles to get established. If these beetles are established, they are a bigger problem than either boxelder bugs or lady beetles because they will infest stored products, fabrics, etc.
 

How do I prevent another infestation next year?
 

Long-term control of boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles begins outdoors. Although total exclusion is not realistic, all exterior openings should be considered as possible routes of entry and covered in some way to keep these insects out. Seal cracks and crevices that allow these insects to gain access to interior wall voids or attics. Caulk around cable entrances, window frames, doorframes, overhangs, facia boards, etc. Vents, weep holes, etc. that cannot be sealed should at least be covered with 16-mesh screening. These steps should be taken in June or July to prevent invasions later this fall.
 

Since lady beetles are beneficial insects, no direct control is recommended.  However, it will be helpful to reduce populations of boxelder bugs outside your home. Removing boxelder and silver maple trees around your home and neighborhood will reduce populations of this insect. In cases where homeowners do not want to remove these trees, infested trees can be sprayed with an appropriately labeled insecticide. The application should be made to trees during the spring, just after the young bugs have hatched from their eggs. Such treatments require special equipment and a license, so contact a company that specializes in treating ornamental plants.
 

In some situations, preventative chemical barriers may be applied around the home prior to invasions in the fall. They are applied to all outside walls and adjacent overhangs. However, without sealing exterior openings, these barriers provide only temporary relief.  In these cases it is useful to contact Gateway Pest Control to help protect your home.

Just because no direct control is recommended to control beneficial insects does it mean you can’t decide to go ahead and have them killed.  After all, we all have different tolerance levels for beneficial insects.  Personally any insect that enters my home has exceeded my tolerance level and will be treated as a nuisance and thus killed.  Most of our clients share my view, oh sure most people like to at least appear to be “GREEN” but truth be told living a green life-style tends to end when it involves sharing your home with bugs.

At Gateway Pest Control LLC we hope you have enjoyed our blog entry and would like to suggest today is a great time to schedule your fall service.  We answer the phones 24/7/365 because we know when you have a pest problem it doesn’t always happen between 8 and 5.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall weather will lead wild animals to seek a new home….yours

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9th, 2010 by Gateway

www.gatewaypestcontrol.com

As the temperature drops outside, critters will work to get inside

 St. Louis, Missouri Pest Control, Jefferson County

 

Have you noticed the temperature is dropping every day?  Fall officially starts in just a few days, but clearly winter is approaching fast.  Squirrels, raccoons, skunks and mice are doing what comes naturally this time of year — looking for a warm, dry and food-filled spot to settle for a long winter’s nap. And that spot could very well be your home most likely in the attic, crawl space, or under your porch or deck.

The bad news?  While the critters are not napping, they will be burrowing, eating, gnawing on wires, and, yes, pooping and peeing in their new home — er, your home.

Many home owners think these wild animals are chewing or scratching their way in, but in reality they are not typically making openings, they simply exploit what’s there.  That means any obscured or unnoticed opening in siding, fascia boards, window frames and foundations are open doors to wildlife.

Squirrels and raccoons typically like high-altitude entry a chimney is virtually a perfect ‘in’ for them — like a hollow in a tree.

Skunks are more likely to go low, especially under decks and porches.

Mice? Well, that’s a tough one. Mice can squeeze through teeny-tiny spaces.  How small?  One fourth of an inch is all a mouse needs to enter your home.

The key to keeping critters out of your home is prevention, think like a raccoon or squirrel, where would they go is what many manuals or experts will tell you.  What you don’t know how a squirrel thinks?  Don’t feel bad most people don’t and that is why professional exterminators exist.  But before you call us you might want to check with you city to see if they provide an animal removal service.  Although many municipalities have eliminated departments helping residents with wildlife problems, some still can help. You’ll only know if you call.  Gateway Pest Control would love to be your exterminator, but we understand saving money too.  We hope you find our blog a useful tool and thus we present many solutions here that do not involve hiring us.  Speaking of which…

Prevention tips: Outdoor

•  Inspect  the gutters; chimney cap; roofline; eaves; fascia board; window frames. Look behind the gutter to make sure the wood behind has not rotted and gapped.

•  Check all roof venting.

•  Look for gaps or holes in the house’s foundation.  Mice squeeze through even tiny spaces.

•  Reconsider pet doors.

•  Secure trash containers.  Put out trash the morning of collection instead of the night before.

•  Never leave cat or dog food outside in bowls. It’s an invitation for other animals to feast. In particular, do not feed raccoons, which could carry diseases such as rabies, canine distemper and roundworm.  Appreciate wildlife, but appreciate it appropriately significant contact with humans usually ends badly for the animal.  The animal could become dependent on getting food from people and lose its ability to feed itself.  If you care about them, don’t feed them.

•  Check to make sure there are no holes allowing access under decks or the house — a favorite spot for skunks. If you detect a musky smell (not the spraying), that’s probably a skunk.

Indoors

•  Check the chimney flue.  If it’s been closed, it could be a perfect shelf for a raccoon to nest.

•  Inspect dark spaces, such as an attic, with a flashlight, without turning on the lights. This will enable you to see if light from outdoors is coming in through cracks or gaps.

•  Look for droppings in the attic or crawl space. One visual clue as to your type of infestation is that squirrels typically drop as they go.  Raccoons tend to find one place to use as a latrine.

•  Check for disturbed insulation, which is perfect bedding for squirrels and raccoons.

•  Inspect for gnawed wood or wires.  That’s a sure sign of infestation.

•  Peer inside cupboards and under sinks for signs (yes, its poop you are looking for) of mice. Mice can also chew through food wrappings and even peanut butter lids.

The good news

Infestation is not always a bad thing.  Bats and skunks are great to have around they are great pest control.  These animals are relatively harmless and can keep a home perimeter free of annoying insects and rodents.

Eviction tips

•  If you have a family of squirrels or raccoons in the attic, place a bowl full of ammonia in the space. The smell should drive them out you can also soak a cloth in ammonia and stick it in smaller spots or under a porch.

•   Try harassment.  Leave a light on and loud music on in the attic.  Animals like it quiet and safe.  If it’s light inside and noisy, it could cause them to find an alternative site.

•  Metal traps can be obtained from many municipalities for the capture and removal of bigger animals such as raccoons, squirrels, opossums or groundhogs.  Gateway Pest Control does offer this service as well, prices begin at $225.

•  Snap traps are the most humane if you have an invasion of mice. The “glue traps” are the worst, causing the animal to starve, dehydrate or stress itself to death.

Bats

Bats can live in attics, chimneys and basements. They are nocturnal and emerge at dusk. Some bats have a wingspan of 13 inches and live up to 19 years in the wild. They mate in October, before winter hibernation. They give birth in early June. They feast on flying insects, primarily moths and beetles. There would be an odor associated with their droppings (guano). A few bats might not be much of a problem, but if you get a colony, well, that’s noisy and dirty.

Raccoons

If they get into a house, they live primarily in attics and chimneys. They are adept when outdoors at knocking over garbage cans and stealing pet food and bird seed. Raccoons carry some very dangerous diseases, including rabies, canine distemper and roundworm. They are excellent climbers, have nimble paws and live up to more than 12 years in the wild. Some raccoons weigh as much as 40 pounds, and they mate in the winter, around December (happy holidays!).  Their young are born in the spring. Raccoons are nocturnal and eat just about anything and everything.

Squirrels

Scratch, scratch, scratch . . . sccrraaattch. That noise coming from the ceiling is probably the first clue many homeowners have that they are now cohabitating with squirrels. The critters are mostly active in the mornings and evenings and eat nuts and seeds. They establish “home territories” and communicate with scent, chattering and flicking their fluffy tale. Squirrels can carry parasites and leave a lot of excrement, which can pose health risks.

Rats and mice

They live everywhere: attics, walls, pantries, basements, closets . . . you name it. They have excellent hearing and sense of smell but poor eyesight. They often travel along the same paths that they’ve already marked with urine. They can crawl through the tiniest of holes, so in this case, prevention is the best cure.  Plug up all your holes and gaps.

Skunks

Yes, they love the spaces under decks or porches. They will live there peacefully unless disturbed or scared by humans and pets, especially dogs.  Skunks — which generally weigh 4 to 10 pounds and are 24 to 30 inches long — dig holes in yards and can accidentally get into homes.  The best method for elimination is trapping the critter with a solid-wall carrier.  The best way, according to wildlife-removal.com, to get rid of skunk smell is to shampoo with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid dish soap.  Flush eyes out with water if sprayed in that area.  Skunks carry rabies….. Of course the easiest thing to do is simply call Gateway Pest Control at (636) 525-1008

This article is primarily about vertebrates but insects tend to move inside during the winter months as well be sure to have your home treated this fall as a preventative.

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