Mosquito Prevention: 4 Signals You Give Off to Mosquitoes

What mosquitoes look like in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

It might seem impossible to avoid mosquitoes once spring and summer roll around, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Mosquitoes are one-track-minded. They operate by taking heed of a few select signals to find hosts to feed on and continue their reproductive cycle. Looking to learn how to disrupt their search and save yourself from mosquito bites? Read on to learn from the mosquito extermination team at Vermont Pest Control!

4 Signals Mosquitoes Look For

It’s hard to predict exactly who mosquitoes will be attracted to, but we have identified signals that they use to find hosts. These are the 4 signs that mosquitoes use when looking to feed:

  1. Breath: When humans exhale, we release carbon dioxide into the air. Mosquitoes have special organs that are focused on finding carbon dioxide imbalances. This allows them to pick up on our scent when we’re close by.
  2. Body odor: The more you perspire, the higher your chances of attracting mosquitoes are. Floral perfumes can also tip off mosquitoes by way of a novel and attractive scent. This is because mosquitoes primarily feed on nectar.
  3. Body temperature: High internal body temperature can attract mosquitoes. Exercising around mosquito hotspots will surely result in some attempted bites.
  4. Color: It has been proven that mosquitoes seek out light with longer wavelengths after smelling CO2. Regardless of pigmentation, human skin gives off these desirable wavelengths.

Preventing Mosquitoes from Biting

It might feel like you can’t avoid giving off the signals that attract mosquitoes, but there are some ways to lessen your chances of bites. You can limit your exposure to mosquitoes in these ways:

  • Get rid of standing water: Mosquitoes use standing water pools as breeding grounds because they lay their eggs on the surface of still water. Pour out standing water if you find it in your gutters, planters, buckets, tarps, or elsewhere.
  • Wear the right clothing: Dark colors can trap heat and raise your body temperature and short sleeves can leave exposed skin that makes it easier for mosquitoes to sense and bite you. Long sleeves and light colors are helpful when trying to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Use insect repellent: EPA-registered products containing DEET or picaridin can help keep mosquitoes away for hours at a time. For all-natural alternatives, try citronella candles or make a diluted lemon-eucalyptus oil spray.

Mosquito Abatement Professionals in Vermont

If you think you’re taking all of the necessary precautions and you’re still experiencing countless mosquito bites, you might have a mosquito infestation. In this case, call up your local pest control company. Our mosquito exterminators at Vermont Pest Control can assess your yard to find vulnerabilities and set up a barrier system that keeps mosquitoes away for months. Learn more about our services and receive a free quote by contacting us today!

Protect Yourself from Ticks & Lyme Disease

A tick on a dog in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Everyone agrees that finding a tick on your body is one of the most unsettling pest-related experiences, but ticks are even more notorious for their ability to induce Lyme disease in humans. As is the case with all pests that harbor diseases, pathogens, and bacteria, it’s important to understand the ways that ticks work so that you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from their bites. If you’re looking to learn more about Lyme disease and preventing ticks, read on. We’ve compiled some expert advice from our technicians at Vermont Pest Control!

What is Lyme Disease?

The deer tick, also known as the blacklegged tick, is the tick species responsible for spreading the bacterium that leads to Lyme disease. Most often, deer tick nymphs spread Lyme disease to humans, rather than adults. This is because nymphs are only about 2mm long, much less noticeable than when they’re fully grown.

Initial symptoms of Lyme disease include headaches, exhaustion, pain in muscles and joints, fever, and rashes. If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen into nerve damage and arthritis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and believe them to be related to a recent tick bite, reach out to a medical professional right away.

How to Avoid Ticks

To protect yourself from Lyme disease, you have to be aware of the habits and preferences of ticks. These parasitic pests hide in bushes, tall grass, or dense vegetation, waiting for small animals to walk by that they can latch on to. Lower to the ground, our dogs end up very vulnerable to tick bites, but it’s easy to come back from a long walk or hike with a tick on your own ankle, too. Here are the best ways to avoid ticks in Vermont:

  • Wear pants and long socks when walking outside in densely vegetated areas
  • Stay on the trail when hiking
  • Perform a tick check on your pets when they come back inside
  • If you find a tick attaching itself to you, use tweezers to pinch it as close to the skin as possible and gently withdraw it

Tick Control in Vermont

If you think that there is a tick presence in your backyard or the area surrounding your property, reach out to your local pest control company. Our tick exterminators at Vermont Pest Control are experts at locating tick hotspots. We can provide you with a property-wide inspection, determining areas at risk for high tick activity and applying professional tick control products to eliminate active populations. To learn more about tick prevention or to receive a free quote on tick pest control services, contact us today!

April Rain Attracts Spring Pests

A tick in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Keeping pests out of your home is a frustrating practice year-round here in Vermont, especially in spring. There are many reasons for spring’s infamy as a pest-ridden reason, but one of the most major of these is the amount of rainfall. The rain creates favorable conditions for all kinds of pests to thrive amongst the blooming plant growth that we see in this season. It’s important to know how to get ahead of them. Let the expert exterminators at Vermont Pest Control help out!

What Pests Love Spring Rain?

A rainy spring allows for many kinds of pests around Vermont to thrive. There are a few in particular that you should be watching out for this spring:

  1. Fleas and ticks: These parasitic pests survive by hiding out in dense plant growth, waiting for animals to walk by that they can latch onto. A rainy spring means more hiding places.
  2. Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes breed in standing water pools, from sources as big as ponds to as small as puddles. With more opportunities to proliferate, mosquitoes thrive after a rainy spring.
  3. Fire ants: Soil softens after a rainy spring, making it easy for fire ants and other subterranean ants to expand their colonies.
  4. Beetles: Lots of rainfall in spring means our gardens will flourish, but it also gives beetles easy access to plentiful food.
  5. Termites: Sometimes called rain flies, winged termite swarmers come out after a rain to take advantage of damaged wood.

What Can I Do to Prevent Pests During a Rainy Spring?

A rainy spring won’t only make your yard a pest hotspot, it could also lead to pest problems inside your home. We recommend adding these measures to your cleaning routines to prevent pest infestations this spring:

  • Seal any cracks and gaps: Fill in any gaps you find around your doors and windows with weather stripping or screens, whichever you see fit. Cracks in the exterior of your house in walls, roofing, foundation, or otherwise can be filled with a silicone-based caulk.
  • Ensure your gutters are clear: Leaves and other natural debris can build up in your gutters. This can either lead to overflows or perfect standing water sources for mosquitoes to breed in.
  • Prevent standing water from pooling up: Anywhere that standing water pools, pests will come, and this includes the interior of your home. Wipe up any water spills in the kitchen or bathroom promptly.

How Vermont Pest Control Can Help This Spring

If you feel that pest problems are inevitable every spring, ask your local pest control company how they can help. Our team at Vermont Pest Control is well versed in our local pest issues. We can assess your property for vulnerabilities, exterminate active pests, and teach you how to avoid your recurring pest problems going forward. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you and receive a free estimate!

Professional Exterminator or DIY Pest Control?

DIY pest control can be dangerous, especially sprays. Learn more from Vermont Pest Control

One time or another, we’ve all attempted our own pest control. From homemade sprays with vinegar for ants to store-bought traps for roaches, there are many options out there. But do they even work? Despite their success in the short term, these at-home remedies rarely work for a full-blown infestation. If you have a pest problem, it’s almost always recommended to get the help of a professional exterminator.

Here at Vermont Pest Control, we want our customers to make well-informed decisions when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Read on to learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control and professional pest control.

Does DIY Pest Control Work?

If you see just a couple of ants or houseflies in your home, DIY and store-bought products can often put a stop to the problem before it gets worse. However, if the problem gets worse and persists, it’s best to use a professional pest control company. Do-it-yourself methods simply don’t provide long-lasting relief from pests. Some of the disadvantages of DIY pest control include:

  1. Many store-bought sprays and baits are filled with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Even when you read the label carefully, these products can be applied incorrectly, which can be hazardous.
  2. Some pests, including rodents, termites, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Without the help of a professional, getting rid of certain pests can be very challenging and even dangerous.
  3. DIY and store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services, often meaning you often have to buy more products.

When to Hire a Professional Exterminator

When you have a serious pest problem on your hands, a professional exterminator is always your best bet. In addition to getting rid of the pests, an expert can put measures in place to prevent future problems, as well. Although this might be more of a commitment on your end, you can rest easy knowing any pest problem will be taken care of quickly and efficiently. As often as possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively with little invasion or disruption to your daily life. Lastly, a pest control expert can work with you to develop a customized pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home or business.

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control: How to Choose

It’s easy to understand why DIY pest control is so appealing. At the end of the day, store-bought products are always a gamble, and all-natural methods won’t hold up. To ensure your Vermont home is safeguarded against pests all year long, a professional pest control company can help. Our team is proud to work with our customers to deliver a pest-free lifestyle, 365 days of the year.

Contact us today to get started!

Worried About Animals in the Attic?

Squirrel on Vermont home roof - Vermont Pest Control

Whether you’re gathered in the kitchen with your family or trying to sleep at night, hearing noises and movement coming from your attic is enough to frighten anyone. While feeling a presence in your home may lead some to believe they’re living the plot of a B-list horror movie, the reality is that a nuisance wildlife problem is underway. Wild animals often gain access to our homes through the roof, where they take up residence in the attic. It goes without saying that no one wants any animals making themselves at home in their attic.

The experts at Vermont Pest Control understand how stressful wildlife problems can be, especially if they make their way into your home. Provided by our experts, we have all the information you need about potential infestations in your attic.

Common Wildlife in Vermont Homes

We’re no strangers to wild animals roaming around our neighborhoods here in Vermont. But how do they get inside? Any animal that can access your roof can likely squeeze their way into your attic if given the chance. The five pests that are the most likely culprits for invading your attic include the following:

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

What to Do When You Have an Animal in the Attic

Don’t try to find a wild animal that you think is living in your attic on your own. When you try to get rid of the animal, bat, or bird on your own, you are not only putting yourself and your family at risk, but also the animal. It is possible for wild animals to carry rabies and bite if they feel threatened. For this reason alone, a professional should always be consulted. When you hire a humane wildlife removal company like Vermont Pest Control, you can rest assured that the safest traps will be used to capture and relocate any wild animal.

Humane Nuisance Wildlife Removal

At Vermont pest Control, we know how stressful it can be to discover wildlife in your attic. Wildlife can also pose a threat to your family. In addition to inspecting your home thoroughly, our animal removal experts can prevent wild animals from entering your attic in the future by putting preventative measures into place. For more information, contact us today!

Can Bees Hibernate?

Winter bee hive in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Everyone associates the buzzing of bees with the spring or summertime. During these times of the year, bees and all other types of stinging insects are in full force, oftentimes through the fall. But what happens when winter rolls around? With our frigid temperatures here in Vermont, it’s hard to believe any insect survives the winter. Believe it or not, certain types of bees can indeed survive through the winter months depending on how low temperatures drop. Read on to learn all you need to know about winter bees with the experts at Vermont Pest Control.

Which Bees Hibernate in the Winter?

After certain bee species peak in the late summer or early fall, they can seemingly disappear. Typically, any temperatures that dip below 50°F will disable bees from being as active as they are in the summer.

There are three bees common to Vermont that all react to winter temperatures in differing ways:

  1. Honey bees: In order to survive the winter, a honeybee population must have an already robust population with a secure hive and plentiful stores of honey. Male honey bees die off, leaving the female bees to crowd tightly together in their hive with the queen in the middle. The female worker bees will vibrate and shiver around the queen bee, keeping alive until warmer days return.
  2. Bumblebees: All bumblebees in a colony except the queen will die off when temperatures become inhospitable. The queen bees will “overwinter”, or hibernate, by digging small holes into the dirt or in hollow logs to keep warm.
  3. Carpenter bees: These wood-destroying bees can hibernate through the winter in their nests. Young carpenter bees that hatched in the late summer months will return to their nests in the winter to hibernate. Older bees will die during the summer after larvae are laid.

Winter Bee Prevention Tips

While you don’t need to worry about a full-blown infestation in the winter, it’s a great time to start preparing for the months ahead. Before bees become active in the spring, here’s what to do:

  • Seal cracks and crevices around the exterior of your property to keep pests from getting indoors..
  • Plant your gardens far away from your property, or stick to grasses and non-flowering shrubs.
  • Mow your lawn regularly and avoid letting areas become overgrown.
  • Install tight-fitting screens on your windows and doors.
  • Fill in holes in the yard left by animals to get rid of nesting sites for bees and other wasps.
  • Invest in tight-fitting lids for outdoor trash and recycling cans.

Need Advice on Bee Control in Vermont?

If you’re dealing with bee problems any time of year, it’s important to reach out to your local experts in bee control. Our experts can help pinpoint areas around your property that may harbor nests or overwintering stinging insects. We also can help better prepare you for the pests come spring and summer. Contact us today to get started! 

Can Ticks Survive through Winter?

A tick in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

It’s easy to assume that when winter rolls around, we can all stop worrying about the outdoor pests that bothered us in the summer. Many pests that live outdoors during the heat try to sneak inside for a bit of warmth during the winter, and others’ numbers tend to dip drastically. However, ticks tend to make do with what they can find in the fall, surviving through the winter in most cases. To learn more about how ticks survive the winter and what you can do to avoid them, read on. Our tick control experts at Vermont Pest Control deal with parasitic pests all year long and have developed seasonal strategies to get rid of them.

When Are Ticks In Season?

Many people know that ticks are most active in the heat. Many of us find that walking our dogs in the summer can be a hassle, because performing a tick check after walking in tall grass often leads to the discovery of a tick or two. Humidity plays a large role in their survivability, too. Because they don’t drink water, ticks prefer to live in environments upward of 85% average humidity to keep hydrated.

So, if they need heat and humidity, do ticks die in winter? Not always. Although a harsh winter can wipe them out, here are some ways ticks survive through the cold seasons:

  • If they find an unknowing animal host to latch onto, they can use them for their body heat and nutrients through the winter
  • If they fail to find a host, many ticks will hide in the leaf litter of wooded environments for protection and insulation as they go into a dormant stage
  • Soft-shell ticks will burrow underground for a greater amount of protection

How to Avoid Winter Ticks

Tick activity drops dramatically when temperatures fall below 45 degrees and the ground is wet or icy. However,even though you’re less likely to deal with them when it’s colder, winter tick problems can still be a hassle for you and your pets. Here are some ways to protect yourself from ticks this winter:

  1. Clear out your yard waste as often as you can. Ticks could be hiding in your leaf piles, so it’s best to get rid of them quickly.
  2. Check your pets. Ticks love to latch onto our dogs, so after letting them outside or taking them on a walk, inspect them for any signs of ticks.
  3. Ask for help from your local tick exterminators. Setting up a barrier treatment in your yard can make your property an inhabitable place for ticks.

Tick Control in the Winter

Deer ticks, infamous for being able to induce Lyme disease in humans, are living here in Vermont. If you want to be extra careful and protect your family from the dangers of ticks, you can rely on your local pest control company. Our team has 30 years of experience in tick control in our state, and can leave you feeling comfortable and secure in your tick-free home. For a free quote, contact us today!

Are Mosquitoes Active in the Winter?

Mosquito in Vermont winter - Vermont Pest Control

In Vermont, our cold winters leave little room for pest activity. There is one pest in particular, however, that is known to linger around—even in the heart of winter. That pest is none other than the mosquito! In general, mosquitoes will disappear when the temperature dips below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In our region, that comes pretty early in the fall. Mosquitoes we see in the winter are typically female mosquitoes, who are in a state of hibernation known as diapause.

Here at Vermont Pest Control, we know how frustrating mosquitoes can be in our region year-round. Read on to learn more about winter mosquito activity, and whether you should be worried about bites this time of year.

Do Mosquitoes Survive in the Winter?

In spring and summertime, mosquitoes are just a given when you spend time outdoors. This is due to the fact that mosquitoes prefer temperatures in the 80s or more. Needless to say, it can be rather startling to come across these pests in the wintertime. Most male mosquitoes will die off when, as mentioned previously, temperatures begin to dip. Even when it begins to get colder, however, female mosquitoes can go into a state similar to hibernation called diapause. In Vermont, the only mosquitoes you’ll likely see in the winter are the ones in this state—meaning you don’t have to worry about being bitten this time of year!

How to Prevent Mosquitoes in the Coming Months

With mosquitoes not active right now, it’s the perfect opportunity to plan ahead and prevent the hoards that will be around in just a few months. Some of the best mosquito prevention tactics you can do yourself in the next couple of months include the following.

  1. Look for mosquitoes in diapause. Female mosquitoes may look to wait out the winter in your backyard if she lays her eggs nearby. Make sure to inspect your yard and get rid of debris, old tires, or tree trunks that could harbor these insects.
  2. Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, even before wintertime. Remove, overturn, or cover any tires, buckets, bird baths, flower pots, and other things that contain standing water.
  3. Cut back grass and vegetation. Keep your grass mowed and take proper care of your yard to avoid mosquitoes harboring in dense brush.
  4. Try out natural mosquito repellents. While not always effective, planting rosemary, mint, and lavender in your garden could make for a natural mosquito repellent.
  5. Get in touch with your local experts. Your best chance of not dealing with mosquitoes year-round is by teaming up with an expert. Professional-grade repellents can help keep mosquitoes away for good!

Vermont Mosquito Control Experts

No matter what time of the year it is, the team at Vermont Pest Control is committed to keeping you safe from all types of pests, especially mosquitoes. We will work with you to implement the best mosquito treatments to keep you and your family mosquito-free. Contact us today to get started!

Get Ready for Increased Fall-Winter Pest Activity

A rat inside a home in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Vermont is perhaps most famous for its seasonality. Our dense and healthy forests give way to winter in the most vibrant exhibition of autumn colors in the country. While our state’s flora is a sight to behold, it also creates a perfect environment for all sorts of fauna to thrive.

If you’re looking to learn the best ways to protect your home from pest problems this fall and winter, read on. We’ve put together some information and advice from our technicians at Vermont Pest Control!

Pests in Vermont in Fall and Winter

Unique weather conditions that we experienced over the summer are resulting in an altered pest environment this fall. With a mixture of higher average temperatures and earlier consistent rain, we’ve seen elevated tick and mosquito activity. Both of these blood-drawing pests are most at home in warm and wet conditions. This year’s weather has allowed them to sustain their breeding populations for longer than usual.

However, in the winter to come, rodents are going to take over as the most prominent pests in the state. Early rain is indicative of earlier snowfall, which will force rats and mice to look for warmer shelters to take refuge in. We have removed many rodents from our customers’ crawl spaces, walls, and attics.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) released it’s biannual bug barometer—you can read the full report here.

2021 Bug Barometer - Vermont Pest Control

Preventing Pests in the Cold Seasons

When the highs stop breaching 50 degrees, and even more so when snow starts to fall consistently, we have to change the way we think about pest prevention to account for active pests. These are our three main pointers for conducting your own pest control this fall and winter:

  1. Make sure your home is intact. Look around the exterior of your home for cracks in the walls and foundation, broken roof tiles, vents, and plumbing fixtures, or gaps around your doors and windows. Rats and mice can squeeze through smaller holes than you would imagine.
  2. Keep your yard maintained. Piles of yard waste should be cleared out often and your grass could be cut short to keep potential pest hiding places minimized. Storing your firewood outside and off of the ground will help you reduce the risk of an infestation.
  3. Be careful with trash and food. Take your trash out often and use sealable bins. Also, be sure to seal your food in airtight containers and wash dishes promptly after eating.

Vermont Pest Control’s Fall and Winter Services

Whether you need extra help getting ready to protect your home against rodents this winter or are dealing with bugs in your yard currently, you can count on your local pest control company to take over. At Vermont Pest Control, we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to pest removal—a complete property inspection, followed by safe and efficient extermination or removal services, capped off with preventative maintenance work to keep your home pest-free going forward. Contact us today for a free quote on pest control services!

How to Get Rid of Rats This Fall

Rodent in Vermont home - Vermont Pest Control

That time of year is here again: rodent season! Every fall and winter in Vermont, the number of rodent infestations in homes and businesses begin to rise. This is because these pests are looking to escape the dropping temperatures outdoors. With Rodent Awareness Week coming, it’s important to know how to protect your home from rodents this fall. Here at Vermont Pest Control, we aim to contribute by helping our communities learn more about the threats rodents can cause to homes and businesses. Today, we’re focusing on how rodents get inside, and what you can do to get rid of them for good. Read on to learn everything you need to know!

How Do Rats and Mice Get Indoors?

Rats and mice alike are very adept at squeezing into the tiniest of openings, which is why they can get into your home much easier than you may want to believe. Most rodents, especially roof rats and house mice, have been known to climb walls as well as jump quite high.

Some young mice can fit into holes that are just 5 mm wide, making any tiny crack or crevice a vulnerability. Rats, on the other hand, are known to climb nearby trees and trellises to get to the roof of your property. From there, they can enter through soffits, vents, and any other opening that is larger than about ½ inch.

Tips to Get Rid of Rats

If you want to get rid of rodent infestations for good, there are a few things you can do. Once they get indoors, rats and mice are likely to hide away in your attic, kitchen, garage, and other places where they can stay warm and have access to food. Exclusion is the key to getting rid of rat problems for good:

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

Rodent Prevention for the Fall

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