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Point of Entry: Getting Rid of an Uninvited Rodent

I named it Lucifer because it couldn’t help being evil. I’m talking about the rat I could hear scrabbling around beneath the heater vent in my kitchen every morning. It didn’t mean any harm, but the rustles and occasional squeaks were too much for me—it had to go.

As it turned out, my first move didn’t involve a pest control company. Before I could set traps, I had to deal with the brand-new front door dug directly beneath my front door.

Rats dig under stairs

Rats dug two new “front doors” underneath my front stairs. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Before the rains came, these holes were caked with tufts of fur, eliminating any doubt that they were at least one major point of entry. Continue reading “Point of Entry: Getting Rid of an Uninvited Rodent” »

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Posted in Home improvement, Home Tips, Personal Stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Three Must-Dos for Avoiding Mosquito-borne Illnesses

Guest post by Janet Thrasher, President of Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, Inc.

how to avoid mosquitos

Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water, so it’s critical to drain all standing water from your yard, including places like barbeque covers. Photo: Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, Inc., 2016

For many of us who’ve grown up in California, dealing with mosquito bites is normal. Today, however, mosquito bites may come with some very serious blood-borne diseases, like Chikungunya virus, Dengue fever, West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis. The list of mosquito-borne illnesses in California grows each year. Now, the CDC is warning that Zika virus may be the next mosquito-borne illness to enter the United States. The California Department of Public Health reminds the public to guard against mosquito bites. Unlike controlling pests such as ants, fleas and cockroaches, pest control companies can’t really help with mosquito control beyond offering advice. It’s up to you to reduce the risk of mosquito bites by following the three D’s of mosquito control: Drain, Dunk and Defend. Continue reading “Three Must-Dos for Avoiding Mosquito-borne Illnesses” »

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Posted in Consumers, Pest Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Protecting Your Home from a Tick Infestation

To protect yourself and your family, take proactive measures to keep ticks at bay. Photo: ATCO Pest Control (2015)

To protect yourself and your family, take proactive measures to keep ticks at bay. Photo: ATCO Pest Control (2015)

While ticks can be found all year-round, they’re most prevalent in the warm summer months. Since ridding a home of a tick infestation can be a long and arduous process, it’s best to take proactive measures to protect yourself and your family. Consider the following tips:

Create a tick-free landscape
The first step to keeping ticks out of your home is to keep them out of your yard, which is why it’s important to maintain well-trimmed foliage. To provide additional security for outdoor play and leisure spaces, create a buffer zone of gravel or wood chips to maintain a separation from forested areas. Continue reading “Protecting Your Home from a Tick Infestation” »

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Putting the Freeze on Fleas: A Basic Tutorial


When fleas occupy your home, you’ll need to act fast to mount a successful resistance. Photo: Killroy Pest Control (2014)

So your dog went out back to do its usual business, but this time, when it returned, it brought along some uninvited guests. That’s right: fleas have dropped in for a surprise visit, and they just might end up staying for dinner. Before you know it, you’re scratching and slapping at these nearly imperceptible pests. A barrage of questions storm through your mind: Will I have to vacate my house? Are chemical treatments my only option? Will Fido have to go to the vet? Relax: the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.” Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps:

1. Decontaminate the host. Since your pet is the one who started this mess (albeit unwittingly), it should be the first to get treated. Start by washing your pet in warm, soapy water; as a supplementary measure, add a cup of white vinegar to the water and use a citrus-scented soap (fleas hate both). Following bath time, use a flea brush to excise the hardier fleas who survived the deluge. Continue reading “Putting the Freeze on Fleas: A Basic Tutorial” »

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