Thursday, October 26, 2017

Your Guide to Spooky Critters This Halloween

We are just a few days away from Halloween and that means things are about to get spooky. While it’s normal to see spiders, bats, and other creepy crawlers on your front doorstep on Halloween, they are usually in the form of spooky d├ęcor or trick-or-treaters. Best Pest Control wants homeowners to know that they should also be ok the lookout for real-life pests this fall. The best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks has some creepy critters that can give homeowners a scare this Halloween. Check out this guide to some common household critters and a few tips to help keep them from turning your home into a haunted house.


Bats


It seems that bats have always caused unfounded fear in people, maybe it’s because they are usually associated with haunted houses or even vampires. Bats are nocturnal mammals that roost in dark areas of buildings, such as attics and under fascia boards, and in other sheltered areas like caves. They are known to fly from their nests at dusk to get food and then they return just before the sun comes up.

Helpful hint: Homeowners should screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and install door sweeps this fall to help keep bats out of their home. If you think you have a bat infestation, give the best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks a call.

Rats


Rats are one of the most reviled pests, due in part to their creepy appearance. They are primarily nocturnal and can be found nesting in places from piles of garbage to dark areas of a basement. Rats can fit through an opening the size of a quarter, so it’s easy for them to gain entry into your home. Once they are inside, they can spread diseases, contaminate food and gnaw through wires and electrical cords.

Helpful hint: Before homeowners bring boxes with Halloween decorations inside, inspect them for signs of an infestation. This includes gnaw marks and rodent droppings. Once Halloween is over and it is time to pack up those decorations, make sure to store them in plastic boxes with sealed lids. This will help keep pests out.

Spiders


The sight of a spider crawling around your home can frighten almost anyone, especially around Halloween. Spiders often times get a bad rap, but only a few species that are found in the United States are actually dangerous. Homeowners should be particularly aware of the brown recluse spider, the black widow spider, and the hobo spider. These types of spiders are known to attack when they are disturbed or threatened.

Helpful hint: Homeowners can avoid coming in contact with spiders by keeping garages, attics, and basements clean and clutter-free. Make sure to wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time, like Halloween decorations.

Bed Bugs


Bed bugs are similar to vampires because they feed off human blood and it’s usually at night. Although bed bugs are usually found in beds, they can also hide out in crevices on furniture and behind baseboards. Bed bugs will hide in purses, luggage, and other personal belongings when they’re on the hunt to find food. Bed bugs do not carry any diseases, but they do leave red, itchy welts on the skin.

Helpful hint: if you plan on renting or purchasing a Halloween costume from a rental, or second-hand store, make sure to inspect it for bed bugs before you take it home. Pay close attention to the inside seams and check for signs of sticky white eggs, shed skin, and of course for actual bed bugs.

Happy Halloween From Best Pest Control 


If you find any signs of these creepy crawlers in your home, give the best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks a call. Best Pest Control hopes you have a fun and safe and most importantly, a critter-free Halloween! 

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Insects Are All Around Us

Were you fascinated with bugs when you were a kid? Are you still fascinated with bugs as an adult? Best Pest Control understands this fascination. There is an entire world made up of billions of insects and whether we like it or not, they are all around us. Scientists estimate 7-30 million species of organisms (including discovered and undiscovered) living on Earth. There are only about 2 million species of organisms on Earth that have been named and 97% of all organisms on Earth are invertebrates (insects make up most of this list). In the United States, most insect species are included in four groups: beetles, flies, ants/bees/wasps, and moths/butterflies. The best pest control company has some interesting insect facts for you to enjoy.


  • A ladybug might eat more than 5,000 insects in its lifetime.
  • Mosquitoes are the deadliest insect on Earth. They kill more than 800,000 humans and they sicken millions of people each year. They do this through malaria, dengue, West Nile, Zika, and other diseases and viruses. Only female mosquitos drink blood – the protein is used to develop eggs.
  • Spiders and ticks aren’t insects. Spiders and ticks are in Class Arachnida (insects are in Class Insecta) and have 8 legs (insects only have 6 legs).
  • Some insects use chemical camouflage to “hide in plain sight” from predators. Other insects have adapted ways to blend into the environment, evolving color patterns and/or using aspects of the environment to “decorate” themselves in order to remain hidden.
  • The silk of a giat riverine orb spider is ten times stronger than Kevlar. Kevlar is the material used in bulletproof vests.
  • Dragonflies are amazing predators with up to 97% success at capturing prey. They are known for their appetite for mosquito larvae and adults. Because of this, dragonflies are beneficial to human health.
  • Without bees and their pollination, people of the world would not have enough fruits and vegetables to eat.
  • Moths can smell each other from miles away.
  • A cockroach can survive for weeks without its head. This is because cockroaches don’t need their brains to breathe or move. Those functions are controlled by organs found in other parts of their body. They also won’t bleed to death like we would when our heads are cut. The wound would just clot like any other wound. 
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn it’s head 360 degrees. It’s also the only bug that has only one ear.
  • The phrase “an army of ants” is more fitting than you may think. Ants are one of the only three species on earth that fight battles in formations.

We are surrounded by many insects that have such unique characteristics. Best Pest Control wants you to know that while most bugs are harmless and important, there are some that are just pests. No matter what type of bugs you are fighting, the best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks can get them under control. 

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Friday, October 13, 2017

'Tis The Season For Mice

Spotting a single mouse in your house could be disturbing, but a trail of mouse droppings could be a sign of something worse. A mice infestation is a problem that many people face and Best Pest Control knows that it’s best to address the problem before the little creatures appear. It’s best to take action as soon as you begin to spot mouse droppings. This will help prevent these rodents from creating a larger infestation. If you have a mouse problem, the best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you!

What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like


For some, it can be difficult to tell mouse droppings from rat droppings, or even other pests for that matter. With mouse droppings, size is a key differentiator. Mouse droppings are usually an eighth to a quarter of an inch in length. They are also tapered at the ends and may look like dark grains of rice.

Regardless of what you may hear, determining how old rodent droppings are is difficult because the color often depends on the food source. The best way to determine the age of the droppings is to remove them or have them professionally removed, and then re-inspect the area after 24 hours. If you see new droppings, then you have a current infestation.

Where to Look for Mouse Droppings


In order to get rid of mouse droppings, the first thing you want to do is to remove the mouse or mice that are the cause. You can remove the droppings, but if the mouse or mice are still around, then new droppings will appear and it will become a cycle. We recommend that you have a professional help remove the mice and their droppings.

If you don’t want the help of a professional, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) cautions that you should never touch them or pick up their droppings with bare hands. Here are the CDC’s precautions for removing mouse droppings:
1. Air out the space where pellets are found for at least 30 minutes before cleaning.
2. Wear rubber, latex or vinyl gloves and a breathing mask or respirator.
3. Use a disinfectant spray on the area and let it soak in for five minutes. You can also make your own version by mixing one-part bleach to 10 parts water.
4. Clean the area with disposable rags or paper towels.
5. Put the mouse droppings and disposable cleaning supplies into a plastic bag and seal it well.
6. Place the sealed bag in a covered trash can, and take out the trash ASAP.

It’s also important to avoid sweeping or vacuuming up mice pellets before you’ve cleaned the area. Particles from mouse dander and droppings could become airborne, which could potentially make people sick.

Dealing With An Infestation



It’s critical to address any situation that may be making your home more welcoming to mice. This includes:
  • Look for potential entry points mice may use to gain access to your home. Their bodies are flexible and many can get through openings as small as a nickel or dime.
  • Since mice can chew through plastic, wood, wires, and insulation, be sure to close off any openings that give them access to these materials in walls or crawl spaces.
  • Seal openings around pipes or cables that run through walls to the interior of the home.
  • Limit access to food sources. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or food crumbs on the counter or floor.
  • Keep pet food stored in a heavy plastic container. Foods in soft plastic bags are easy for mice to get into.
  • Don’t allow trash to pile up. Keep trash can lids closed both inside and outside the home.
  • Stack firewood in a storage shed or somewhere away from the main house.

Best Pest Control wants to make sure your home is safe from these pesky rodents. Once you have an infestation of mice, they can be difficult to get rid of. If you need help battling a pest infestation, the best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help. 


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Friday, October 6, 2017

How Much Do You Know About Raccoons?

Raccoons are often thought of as bandits or spies because of their masked markings around their eyes and their ringed tails. While it’s partially true, raccoons do like to go through trash, there is so much more to this bushy-tailed mammal. Best Pest Control is here to give you some interesting facts about the raccoon. If you have a raccoon infestation, give the best pest control company in the Lake of the Ozarks a call.


What Do Raccoons Eat?


Raccoons are omnivorous, so they eat animals, insects, and vegetation. Oftentimes, raccoons choose to live near riverbeds or in marshes so they can eat fish, snails, crawfish, and frogs. Raccoons will also raid gardens, eat your pet's food, steal bird eggs, and rummage through the trash.

Raccoons Can Get Fairly Large


Most adult raccoons average about 18 to 28 inches in length and can weigh anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds. Male raccoons tend to be larger than females. The world’s heaviest raccoon, named Bandit, set a Guinness World Record for weighing almost 75 pounds. Raccoons don’t normally get this heavy, Bandit was kept as a pet and took frequent trips to his local ice cream store.

There Are No Wild Raccoons in Alaska


Raccoons live in 49 of the 50 states and they do not live in Alaska. Raccoons were introduced to the state in the 1930s when fur trading was booming, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game notes that the attempts to transplant the animals were unsuccessful.

Where Do Raccoons Live?


Raccoons live in dens that they make out of holes in fallen trees or in burrows that have been abandoned by other animals. They are den hoppers and usually relocate every few days or so. The exception to this rule is nursing mothers – they wait until their kits (baby raccoons) are old enough to be moved before finding a new den.

What Happens to Raccoons in Winter?


Raccoons aren’t exactly true hibernators. However, they can build up their body fat during spring and summer so that they can sleep in their dens for weeks at a time when the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall. Although they don’t technically hibernate, this is the reason why we don’t see very many raccoons in the winter. Some people may even find raccoons in their attic during the colder months. It’s a good idea to seal everything up during the fall to prevent these critters from entering your home.

How Long Do Raccoons Live?


A raccoon’s lifespan depends on whether it lives in captivity or the wild. Wild raccoons have a life expectancy of about two to three years. Captive raccoons have been known to live for as long as 20 years.

Raccoons Can Carry Pathogens That Spread Disease


While raccoons may look cute, you don’t want to mess with them. These creatures can become aggressive, especially when cornered or they feel threatened. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that raccoons were the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species. They also carry parasites that can transmit baylisacaris infection to humans. While these infections are rare, they can cause severe damage to the eyes, organs, and brain.

While raccoons are interesting creatures, that doesn’t mean you want to find them in your home. If you're dealing with raccoons in your yard or around your home, Best Pest Control can help! In addition to pest control, we also offer animal trapping services at the Lake of the Ozarks. To learn more about our services, call us at 573-348-1600.


THE LAKE'S MOST TRUSTED PEST CONTROL COMPANY

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