The Rise of Rodents During COVID-19

Rodents infest Vermont homes during a pandemic - Vermont Pest Control

With everything else going on this year, the last thing you want to deal with is a rodent infestation. Unfortunately, rodent problems are on the rise due to the pandemic. When restaurants, bars, and cafes were put under regulations to limit operations, rats and mice were suddenly depleted of their number one source of food. This in turn emboldened rodents to turn to residential properties for food, shelter, and water. Paired with their tendency to get indoors to escape dropping temperatures this time of year, the chances of rodent infestations in your home are high. That said, you don’t have to let rodents indoors at all if you know how to seal your property to them. This Rodent Awareness Week, the experts at Vermont Pest Control are sharing their top tips for preventing rats and mice.

Rodents in the Time of Coronavirus

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

  • Due to the restaurant shutdowns and lockdowns, there have been a number of reported cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources.
  • While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and more.
  • Once inside your home, rodents can cause damage with their chewing and nesting habits.

How to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home

Keeping rodents out requires sealing the spots through which they could enter. Some of the best ways to make your property less attractive to rats and mice include:

  1. Securely storing food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  2. Using caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  3. Installing mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  4. Using tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  5. Protecting eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Rodent Infestations During COVID-19

At Vermont Pest Control, we make sure to inform our customers every Rodent Awareness Week about the dangers of rats and mice. This year is especially important with the ongoing rise in infestations during the pandemic. For help protecting your property from the dangers of rodents throughout the year, contact our rodent exterminators today!

What Are Asian Lady Beetles?

Asian lady beetles crawl into Vermont homes in the fall - Vermont Pest Control

Every fall, Vermont residents report sightings of three insects in particular: stink bugs, boxelder bugs, and Asian lady beetles! Often confused for ladybugs, Asian lady beetles will congregate on the sunny side of your home in the fall months to escape the dropping temperatures. From there, they often make their way indoors if given the chance. While they aren’t necessarily the most dangerous pest, they can still be a nuisance to deal with. When inside your home, they can be found lingering in windowsills, curtains, or in attics. At Vermont Pest Control, we know how frustrating any pest problem can be inside your property, especially in the fall. Our experts are here to share expert information on this common fall pest problem.

What to Know About Asian Lady Beetles in the Fall

It’s easy to see how Asian lady beetles and ladybugs are confused for one another. However, the beetle is slightly larger than your average ladybug. Asian lady beetles also vary in color and can be more orange or yellow in tone than ladybugs. The key identifying marks on this beetle are two white, oval markings on the pronotum (just behind its head) along with an occasional M-shaped marking on the pronotum. Asian lady beetles are most known for their habit of flocking to the side of structures and even crawling indoors at times.

How Do I Keep Asian Lady Beetles Out?

Before the winter weather settles in, Asian lady beetles may get into your home for shelter and warmth. To keep these beetles and other fall pests outside, it’s important to implement exclusion tactics to make your home impenetrable to them! Here’s how:

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, utility pipes, siding, behind chimneys, and around any other openings.
  • Repair or replace damaged screens on doors and windows.
  • Replace the weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Consider planting mums in your garden or around your home. These beetles are not fans of the plants and will avoid them at all costs.
  • Try out a natural deterrent using citrus or citronella scents. Make a spray with orange or lemon essential oil diluted with water, and spray around your windows or doors.

What to Do When You Have Asian Lady Beetles Inside

If Asian lady beetles get inside, there’s no need to worry too much. These beetles may bite, but their bites are not known to be dangerous. You can use a vacuum cleaner to contain them, but make sure to dispose of them in a sealed bag. The residential exterminators at Vermont Pest Control know how distressing any type of pest problem is inside your home, which is why we’re here to help. Contact us today!

Best Fall Rodent Prevention Tips

Rodents infest homes in the fall in Vermont - Vermont Pest Control

Rodents are a nuisance pest throughout the entire year, but they are especially troublesome in the fall here in Vermont. As soon as summer wraps up and the early days of fall begin, dropping temperatures encourage rodents to get indoors for food, water, and shelter. Needless to say, rodents inside are any property owner’s worst nightmare. Besides the damage they can cause, rats and mice also are able to contaminate surfaces and spread potentially harmful diseases. Here at Vermont Pest Control, we know how important it is to keep your facility or building safe from rodents. Our team of rats and mice pest control experts are here to share their best fall rodent prevention tips.

How Do Rats & Mice Get In?

Rats and mice in particular are known for their ability to squeeze through the tiniest of openings to get indoors. Once inside, rats and mice will take shelter in attics, basements, kitchens, and garages. Mice can scale walls, squeeze through tiny openings, jump, and build nests in just about any room you can imagine. A rat or mouse problem often begins when the rodents get in through your chimney, pipes, air vents, and more. In addition to contaminating surfaces and spreading germs, rodents can chew through materials with their ever-growing teeth, making them capable of causing a lot of damage.

8 Fall Rodent Prevention Tips & Tricks

The best form of rodent control is prevention. A few of our tried-and-true tips to prevent rats and mice this fall and all year long include:

  1. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  2. Keep a tidy yard. Cut back any tree limbs or vines that are attached to or near the home.
  3. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  4. Get rid of excess moisture. Fix leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  5. Store firewood away from your home. Piles of lumber will surely attract rodents and other pests to get close to your house.
  6. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  7. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.
  8. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.

Year-Round Rodent Exclusion

Finding out you have a rodent problem in your home is distressing. To avoid this, it’s crucial to take the time to implement rodent exclusion and prevention methods. As soon as you suspect the signs of rodents inside, call us. Our rodent exterminators can work with you to develop a rodent prevention plan suited to the needs of your property.

Look Out For These 2 Spiders This Fall

Fall spiders can be dangerous in Vermont. Learn more from Vermont Pest Control

Spiders are a common pest problem all year round here in Vermont, but they are especially abundant in the late summer and early fall. Spiders typically hatch in the springtime. Come August and September, spider populations can be at their largest. This is also when spiders traverse into your home for several reasons. Whether to escape the heat or to look for food, water, and shelter, spiders inside your home are typically harmless. However, there are a couple spiders in particular that are more dangerous: black widows and brown recluse spiders. The team at Vermont Pest Control is here to share expert info on spiders this fall in your home.

Why Do Spiders Come Into the House?

Spiders are just like other pests in their need to seek out food, water, and shelter in order to survive. The key to keeping them away is making your home less attractive to them! Broken screens or crevices in your doors and windows often let spiders in. An unkempt yard or lawn will invite spiders to your property. You may also notice more spiders when you have other bugs and insects in your property. Spiders will be more drawn to properties that provide them with shelter and food (bugs) inside. By eliminating the conditions that invite bugs and pests indoors, you can effectively prevent spiders as well!

Black Widow vs Brown Recluse Infographic - Vermont Pest Control in VermontBlack Widow vs. Brown Recluse Spider

It’s easier to tell apart a dangerous spider from your regular house spider than you think. This is because black widows and brown recluse spiders have a couple of unique characteristics:

  1. Black widows
    1. These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body.
    2. They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground.
    3. They can bite when they feel threatened.
  2. Brown recluse spiders
    1. Brown recluses have a darker brown violin-shaped mark on their brown bodies.
    2. They build loose, dome-shaped webs for shelter.
    3. A brown recluse bite is known to be very painful.

What to Do When You Have a Spider Infestation

If you’ve done all you can to prevent spiders and are starting to see them on a daily basis, it’s time to take action! A professional spider exterminator such as Vermont Pest Control can help you not only control any current infestation, but also prevent future ones from happening.