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Bed Bugs


bed-bugs


Bed Bugs FAQ


Question: Do bed bugs fly?

Answer: No, they do not have wings.

Question: Do bed bugs transmit diseases?

Answer: No, as far as entomologists know, bed bugs don't transmit diseases.

Question: How far will bed bugs travel?

Answer: Usually not far-between 10 feet and 100 feet but often not farther than 20 feet.

Question: How do bed bugs develop?

Answer: Through simple metamorphosis (i.e. egg, nymph and adult).

Question: How long can a bed bug go without a blood meal?

Answer: They can easily live 6 - 9 months or longer without a blood meal.

Question: Are bed bugs only found in bedding?

Answer: No. Bed bugs can be anywhere that there is a crack or crevice, including furniture, picture frames, or anywhere else - but they do prefer warmth.

Question: Can you smell bed bugs?

Answer: Yes, the smell is a pungent rancid odor.

Question: What do bed bugs feed on?

Answer: They feed on blood only.

Question: Can other animals become infested with bed bugs?

Answer: Yes, they will feed on animals but prefer human blood.

Question: How did they get into my house?

Answer: You carried them in or they traveled from another apartment. You could have picked them up from places like a hotel or movie theatre, your job, someone visit your apartment, used clothing, used furniture, old mattress and spring box, and so on.

Question: Why have bed bugs become such a problem?

Answer: Over the years, pesticide use has gone down in favor of I.P.M. (Integrated Pest Management), giving them a chance to come back; the increase in international travel has been a factor as well.

Question: Why is it so costly to treat for bed bugs?

Answer: A bed bug job is extremely labor intensive. It can take many hours to treat a home, or apartment the first time.

Question: Can you see them?

Answer: Yes. They are plainly visible and once engorged with blood they are even more visible.

Question: After a treatment can I get them again? How?

Answer: Yes. You can get them again by carrying them in on you just like before.

Question: What attracts them to us?

Answer: Bed bugs are attracted to us the same way mosquitoes are-through warmth and CO2 (carbon dioxide).

Question: Are there different kinds of bed bugs?

Answer: The bat bug is found on Long Island.

Question: Can you freeze bed bugs? What happens?

Answer: Yes you can freeze them if done quickly.

Question: Can I get rid of bed bugs?

Answer: It's very difficult to get rid of them by yourself, unless you're very lucky and they are just starting, contained and eliminated. By the time you find them they are usually well established. Best bet? Give us a call. We carefully and professionally handle them on a daily basis and can take care of them for you.

Question: How do I know if I have a bed bug problem?

Answer: One sure way is by seeing them in your home. You may see 1 or 100 at a time. Look for blood stains on your sheets, bites on your body, or for the bugs themselves. If you are not sure call or email us for an I.D. and inspection.

Question: Where can I find bed bugs in my home, or apartment?

Answer: One big problem with bed bugs is they go everywhere. Any crack and crevice, behind pictures, screw holes, bedding. They can be anywhere!

Question: Does Get Rid Pest offer programs to treat bed bugs?

Answer: Absolutely! Get Rid Pest is a full service pest control company. Simply give us a call. We have a certified train staff on proper bed bug treatment. We have continuous training on the newest and best methods to solve infestations. And we've come up with many of the methods commonly used by companies today.

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Bed Bugs And Humans


bed-bug

History of the Bed Bug

The Bed Bug evolved from the Bat Bug which feed on Bats in caves. 100,000 years ago Neanderthal man lived in caves and was also fed upon by these bugs. Eventually, the bat bug evolved into a new species we call the Bed Bug. When humans left the cave life and settled into villages, towns and cities they brought the bugs with them. Bed bugs have plagued man ever since.

The early writings about bed bugs appeared in ancient Egypt around 400 BC and the oldest bed bug found is an Egyptian fossil from 3500 years ago. They were also reported in early Roman and Greek writings. Medieval Europeans were also plagued by bed bugs. Not only were the poor living with these blood sucking pests but even the kings and noblemen were infested with bed bugs. It was also common to be infested with blood sucking lice. The most feared pest however, was the rat.

The rat meant that the deadly Black Death or Plague was about to break out. Bed Bugs continued to live side by side with people throughout history. Then during World War II, a miracle chemical, DDT was developed. DDT was so effective against bed bugs that after WWII they were no longer considered a pest problem. From the 1950's through the turn of the century, problems with bed bugs were virtually non-existent.

Making a Comeback

bed-bug-arm

Suddenly in 2000, it was discovered that bed bugs were making a comeback. Pest management firms began providing Bed Bug abatement services more and more often. Health departments across the USA began to receive more and more inquires about this pest. It soon became clear that we were in the midst of a widespread, sudden, population increase in bed bugs and we had no idea why. Calls about bed bugs increased more than 500% between 2001 and 2008! The health department also reported that calls regarding bed bugs had increased 700% over the same period.


Why, after almost a 60 year absence had bed bugs reemerged so suddenly and in such high numbers? The answers are not clear. However, some theories have been voiced. Changes in pest management practices, loss of a number of residual-type pesticides and increases in international traveling have been proposed. In addition to these theories, there may also have been some cultural and generational factors. For two generations in the US, bed bugs were not even spoken about. For the baby boomers, bed bugs were something that their parents and grandparents had to deal with. People immigrating into the United States from places where bed bugs were a common problem were inadvertently transporting these pests with them. After settling down and finding bed bugs, little was done to eliminate them because culturally they were accepted in their homelands.

The question remains; how do we send these pests packing? Before we can think about managing these pests we must have a detailed understanding of their biology including habits and behavior. This information is readily available in Entomology textbooks. However, most people will get this information from the World Wide Web. Most of the information is correct and based on solid scientific works. However, there is much information that is purely anecdotal. Publically-accessed web-based and print-media information has created panic and chaos.

Since most people below the age of 60 have had no experience with bed bugs, the mere thought of some bug visiting you in your bed at night to suck your blood creates terror in the minds of most Americans. We generally fear things that we do not fully understand.

So what is the answer? The aesthetic threshold is different for everybody. Some people will tolerate a certain level of pests. Others will not tolerate one fruit fly. When it comes to bed bugs however, everybody wants them totally eliminated, period! As pest management professionals, "we have met the enemy and they are ours"! Although bed bugs are difficult to eliminate, Get Rid, Termite and Pest Control Services LLC.. has developed protocols to address these age-old persistent, blood-sucking parasites. With over 18 years of experience providing pest management services, we have learned how to overcome pest problems in the urban environment, even though bed bugs do present some unique challenges.

For one thing, pesticides alone are not sufficient to address bed bugs in structures. You must inspect very carefully. You must identify all harborage sites. You must physically remove the bugs from the harborages using an industrial HEPA-equipped vacuum cleaner. Then treat harborages as required with materials that have shown promise in killing these pests. Since these pests will hide in the smallest, most inaccessible places, knowledge of bed bug habits and biology is essential to the favorable outcome of our abatement interventions.

After performing well over 700 bed bug interventions over the last 4 years, we have learned a thing or two about bed bug behavior. The most important thing we have learned about bed bugs is that it is very labor intensive to eliminate them. Every piece of furniture must be closely inspected. Mattresses, box spring, bed frames, head boards, night stands, dressers, lamps, wall hangings, ceiling and baseboard moldings, window treatments, closets, electronic devices such as computers, radios, fax machines, printers, door frames, window frames, electrical wall outlets and switch plate covers, recessed lighting, chairs, sofas, books, papers and magazines, list goes on and on. Bed bugs will hide under paint chips and inside cell phones. We keep finding new places all the time! For instance, inside TV remotes and cable television receivers have become favorite harborages for bed bugs.

More bed bugs are being found off the bed than on the bed. But one thing is clear. Bed bugs are here to stay for a while. They are not going away any time soon.

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Bed Bug Control and Extermination

bed-bug-control

Bed bugs have made resurgence in the Tri State area and many people are understandably concerned! With Get Rid Pest, you've come to the right place. We're the Bed Bug Control Experts and we'll help you deal with bed bugs.

Here are some Bed Bug Facts:

  • Bed bugs are blood sucking insects that feed on warm-blooded animals, usually humans. They are brown in color and quickly change to dark red after having a blood meal.
  • Bed bugs are considered nocturnal and usually feed at night on sleeping hosts. However, bed bugs will feed during the daytime if they are hungry and given the opportunity.
  • Bed bugs find a host by detecting the carbon dioxide and warmth given-off by the host.
  • Bed bugs have special mouth parts to be able to pierce the skin and draw-up blood. The mouth parts consist of two tubes; one tube injects an anesthetic along with anti-clotting saliva and the other tube is used to draw-up the blood into the body.
  • It is the saliva that causes the swelling and itch of the bite.
  • Female bed bugs can deposit up to 5 eggs a day and 500 during their lifetime. Eggs hatch in 7-20 days depending on temperature.
  • Adult bed bugs can survive 6-12 months without a blood meal and require only 3-5 minutes to complete their feeding.
  • Bed bugs are not indicators of unsanitary conditions. These insects will infest the most extravagant hotels or the most humble of homes if they can get inside.
  • Bed bugs do not transmit any diseases as far as we know.
  • Bed bugs will travel long distances to get a blood meal. Some estimates are a far as 100 feet back and forth from their harborage sites. However, bed bugs usually stay much closer to their hosts.
  • Bed bugs do not stay or attach themselves to a host to get a blood meal. After feeding, they will run off the host and scurry back to their hiding places.
  • Bed bugs will often congregate in harborages.

Where can you get bed bugs? Some favorite places that you can pick-up bed bugs are; gym lockers, busses, taxicabs, trains, planes, cruise ships, and movie theaters, your job, visitors to your home. Basically, you can get bed bugs from any public place people gather and spend some time.

What can you do to help prevent bringing these pests into my home? Awareness is the first defense! When returning home from a trip, whether domestic or foreign, examine your luggage, purses and carry-on items for bed bugs. Be sure to examine any gifts you may have brought home. Wash or dry clean all clothing items.

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Carpenter Ants


carpenter-ants

Question: Can carpenter ants bite?

Answer: They can pinch your skin with their strong mandibles.

Question: Do carpenter ants eat wood like termites?

Answer: No. Carpenter ants tear apart the wood but don't ingest it like termites. They mine out the wood to make galleries in which they live.

Question: Do carpenter ants do as much damage as termites?

Answer: No, but under certain conditions where there are leaks in the structure, carpenter ants can mine out vast areas and can do thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Question: Do carpenter ants have wings?

Answer: Yes, the reproductive ants have wings and they swarm during the mating season. This may occur in late spring or late summer depending on weather conditions.

Question: Do carpenter ants look like termites?

Answer: No. (See comparison.) The reproductive carpenter ants don't lose their wings easily (they might chew them off) where as termites lose their wings easily. If you find a pile of wings this usually indicates there was a termite swarm, and the structure may be infested by termites. Carpenter ants also have a pinched waistline and termites don't.

Question: Do carpenter ants come in different sizes?

Answer: Yes, depending on the size of the colony (a mature colony can have 3 - 4 thousand ants.) The larger the colony the larger the ants.

Question: How do I know if I have a problem with carpenter ants?

Answer: One sure way is by seeing them in your home. You may see 1 or 50 at a time. Or you may see "frass" piles of small wood shavings by windows in the basement, on sill plates, or in the garage by the door jamb, etc. This frass is an indication that carpenter ants are "mining" through the wood to make harborage for themselves. To be absolutely sure, you should get in touch with a pest control professional for a free inspection (if you live in the New York Metropolitan area including Long Island, give us a call and we will be glad to help.

Question: Where will they make nests in my home?

Answer: Once carpenter ants enter your home, they will look for moisture and will usually establish a nest in water-damaged wood (although the satellite nests can live in hot, dry attics.) Examples of possible infestation sites include:

  • Wood in contact with soil (porch supports, siding, stairs, etc.)
  • Wood affected by water seepage near plugged drains, gutters, door and window frames, leaking doors, etc.
  • Wood in areas of improper ventilation such as cellars, crawl spaces, attics, etc.
  • Void areas near a moisture source (hollow doors, under bathtubs, etc.)

Question: Does Get Rid Pest offer programs to treat carpenter ants?

Answer: Absolutely! Get Rid Pest is a full service pest control company. Simply give us a call or fill out our online form to request a consultation today.

Question: How does Get Rid Pest treat carpenter ants?

Answer: Our fully trained representatives will make a thorough inspection of your home, including crawl spaces, attic, basement, porches and even the area immediately surrounding your house. If they find carpenter ants, they will outline specific treatment procedures based on existing evidence, moisture conditions, proximity of possible entry points, etc. Treatment recommendations will include drilling tiny holes in wall voids in moisture prone areas and forcing insecticide dust into these wall voids. This is done to effectively surround the ants and eliminate the nest. When complete, all drilled areas are neatly sealed by our trained technicians. Treatment may vary according to the type and size of home and the extent of the infestation. In some cases, treatment might include power dusting and/or chemical misting of insecticide.

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Small Ants


small-ants

Question: Can you tell me a bit about ants?

Answer: Ants are one of the most successful insect groups. There are over 12,500 different types (species) of ants currently know. The final number may be as high as 20,000 species! Ants are social insects. Typically they live in highly organized colonies composed of three castes: winged, fertile females, or queens; wingless, infertile females, or workers; and winged males. The vast majority of ants are not structural pests. They have lived unnoticed in the urban environment for millions of years. The greatest diversity of ants can be found living in the tropics. In urban environments, there are a number of ant species that are considered pests.

Question: What do ants eat?

Answer: Ants eat a varied diet of proteins and carbohydrates. Their food demands usually depend on the needs of the colony at any given time. The common pest ants we encounter inside our homes feed on all types of food. Everything from bread crumbs to candy bars. Anything humans eat is also eaten by these ants!

Question: What is a small ant?

Answer: We call these ants "small" because they are smaller than a Carpenter Ant. Generally speaking, there are 5 species of so called "small ants" that are structural pests. These include:

  • Pavement Ant
  • Odorous House Ant
  • Pharaoh Ant
  • Thief Ant
  • Acrobat Ant

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Carpenter Bees


carpenter-bees

Carpenter bees are large robust insects that look much like bumble bees. They have a bare, shiny black abdomen whereas bumble bees have a hairy abdomen with some yellow markings. Male carpenter bees, identified by the bright yellow spot in the middle of the head, are aggressive but quite harmless since they lack stingers. Females can sting if molested.

Question: Will they sting me?

Answer: Not usually. Although they are a bee and capable of stinging I have not heard of anyone being stung. But remember to treat them with respect as you would any bee.

Question: How do I tell carpenter bees from other bees?

Answer: Carpenter bees are large like a bumble bee but they have a very distinct shiny black body.

Question: How do you treat for carpenter bees?

Answer: You need to treat every hole individually. This doesn't work too well if they are not in them since they will make a new nest nearby. The holes need to be treated until they are all gone.

Question: Do I need to treat them this way?

Answer: Not always. Carpenter bees will not nest in painted wood. If it is a deck or an untreated piece of wood you can paint it. If it is a crack then you can try to seal it (make sure you don't seal it before you get them out since they could drill right into living space).

Question: Why do carpenter bees make holes?

Answer: That is their nest.

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Roaches


roaches

Cockroaches are among the most common of insects. Fossil evidence indicates that cockroaches have been on earth for over 300 million years. They are considered one of the most successful groups of animals. Because cockroaches are so adaptable, they have successfully adjusted to living with humans. About 3,500 species of cockroaches exist worldwide, with 55 species found in the United States.

In the northeastern United States, only four species are common pests in structures. These are the German, brown-banded, Oriental, and American cockroaches. Cockroaches are "living fossils". This means that their basic shape and appearance has not changed for millions of years. Fossil remains of cockroaches have been dated before the appearance of the Dinosaurs and appear virtually identical to cockroaches we find today.

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German Cockroaches


german

This is the most common cockroach found in homes and food service establishments and has the highest reproduction rate of the four common cockroaches. After mating, the female cockroaches produce an 'egg capsule' containing 30-40 eggs. 1-2 days before the eggs hatch, the female drops the capsule in a sheltered area.

The development time from egg to adult takes about 100 days. The female will produce about 3-4 egg capsules in her lifetime which is about 100-200 days. Because of the high rate of reproduction, in very short order, the home or apartment can be totally infested with thousands of cockroaches.

Cockroaches will eat virtually any item that has nutritional value. This includes dog food, any human food items and even soap and glues.

The German cockroach has been identified as a trigger of asthma in sensitive individuals especially children. Exposure to cockroach fecal material, saliva and body fragments can trigger an asthma attack. Cockroaches have been shown to carry bacteria on their bodies and are potential sources of salmonella food poisoning.

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American Cockroaches


american

American cockroaches are often called water bugs. The American cockroach is the largest of the species common to the northeast. This species often becomes abundant in city dumps and is most common in the basements and steam tunnels of restaurants, bakeries, food-processing facilities, and grocery stores.

Adults are approximately 1-1/2 inches long and reddish brown, with fully developed wings that cover the entire length of the abdomen (Fig. 1). Both male and female are fully winged. American cockroaches are capable of flying but rarely do in northern areas of the United States. The American cockroach can be identified by its large size and reddish brown color with faded yellow edges on the thorax.

When indoors, the nymphs and adults are usually found in dark, warm and moist areas of basements and crawl spaces, and in and around bathtubs, clothes hampers, floor drains, pipe chases, and sewers. They are also common around the manholes of sewers, and on the undersides of metal covers over large sump pumps. In the north, this cockroach is often associated with steam heat tunnels. It has also been observed migrating from one building to another during warm months in the north.

American cockroaches feed on a variety of foods, with an apparent preference for decaying organic matter. The adults can survive two or three months without food but only about a month without water.

Life History

American cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The eggs are laid in capsules that are dark brown, symmetrically shaped, and about 5/16 inch long. The female drops her egg capsule within a day after it is formed. She often drops it in a suitable location near a food source or in a protected area. Each capsule averages 14 to 16 eggs. Usually one capsule is produced each week and is often glued to a hidden surface with secretions from the female's mouth. Each female produces from 15 to 90 egg capsules.

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Oriental Cockroaches


oriental

Oriental cockroaches are often called water bugs because of their preference for dark, damp, and cool areas such as those under sinks and washing machines, and in damp basements. This species, which is less wary and more sluggish than the others, is of concern because it often travels through sewer pipes and lives on filth.

Adult Oriental cockroaches are about one inch in length. Both male and female adults are very dark brown, nearly black; their bodies usually have a somewhat greasy sheen. Females have small, functionless, rudimentary wing pads and broader, heavier bodies. Males have wings that cover only about three-quarters of their abdomen. Males are apparently unable to fly.

Nymphs and adults have similar habits and are found with decaying organic matter indoors and out. Indoors, Oriental cockroaches prefer dark, moist areas such as under porches, sewers, drains, crawl spaces, dark, damp basements, and floor drains. They can be found outdoors in abandoned cisterns and water valve pits; in yards; beneath leaves; in bark mulch around shrubs, flowers, and foundations; in dumps, stone walls, and crawl spaces; and in garbage and trash dumps and trash chutes. Both nymphs and adults are sluggish and are usually situated at or below ground level indoors.

They are seldom found on walls, in high cupboards, or in the upper floors of buildings. At times large numbers occur in one great mass around leaks in the basement or crawl space areas of homes. Oriental cockroaches are generally found outdoors during warm weather, but in periods of drought there may be considerable movement into structures, apparently in search of higher humidity. They may enter the home in food packages and laundry, or merely come in under the door or through air ducts, garbage chutes, or ventilators.

Life History

The Oriental cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours and then drops onto a protected surface near a food supply. The female does not glue the egg capsule to the surface.

Females produce an average of eight capsules, each containing 16 eggs that hatch in about 60 days under room temperature conditions. The life span of an adult female is 5 to 26 weeks with approximately 200 offspring. Unlike the other house-infesting species, the Oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal developmental cycle. The peak number of adults usually appears in late spring or early summer. By late summer and early fall, this number has become quite low, owing to natural mortality and the hatching of nymphs.

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Brown-Banded Cockroaches


brown

Adult male brown-banded cockroaches are about 1/2 inch long and light brown, with fully developed wings. Both adults and nymphs can be distinguished by the two brownish, broad -bands across the body at the base of the abdomen and at mid-abdomen. Both males and females are quite active; adult males fly readily when disturbed.

Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations, such as near refrigerator motor housings, on the upper walls of cabinets, and inside pantries, closets, dressers, and furniture in general. They can also be found behind picture frames and beneath tables and chairs, and inside clocks, radios, light switch plates, doorframes, and dressers. It is common to find them hiding nearer the ceiling than the floor and away from water sources. Accurate identification is paramount to controlling brown-banded cockroaches. Control strategies for other cockroaches will not be efficacious for brown-banded cockroaches.

Life History

The brown-banded cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours before she fastens it on walls, ceilings, and in protected and hidden areas. During her adult life a female produces about 14 egg capsules, each containing an average of 13 eggs. The length of the egg stage varies from 37 to 103 days, depending on temperature. The nymph stage ranges from 8 to 31 weeks. A female adult has a life span of 13 to 45 weeks; each female produces about 600 descendants per year.

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Fleas & Ticks


fleas

Fleas

Cat and dog fleas are usually found together and are very similar in appearance. They are small, wingless insects about 1/8-inch long with piercing-sucking mouth parts. They are dark-colored and have very narrow bodies with well-developed legs which allow them to be great jumpers. Their bodies are covered with backward-projecting spines that help them move between the hairs on the host animal.

Cat and dog flea larvae are 1/4-inch long when fully developed and look much like fly maggots. They have 13 body segments, and are a dirty-white color with backward projecting hairs on each body segment. They also have a pair of hook-like appendages on the last abdominal segment.

Cat and dog fleas go through complete metamorphosis. The females lay four to eight eggs after each blood meal. The eggs fall into the nest of the host animal or wherever the animal happens to be at that time. The eggs hatch in about 10 days. The larvae feed on dried blood, bits of feces, and other types of food materials. When mature they spin silken cocoons within which they pupate. The pupal stage lasts from seven days up to a year. The adult cat flea will often stay within the cocoon until vibrations stimulate them to emerge. The adult fleas feed on blood with their pierce-sucking mouthparts. Cat and dog fleas prefer these two animals, but will readily feed on man.

ticks

Ticks

Ticks are arthropods, like spiders. There are more than 800 species of ticks throughout the world. Ticks are the leading carriers (vectors) of diseases to humans in the United States, second only to mosquitoes worldwide. It is not the tick bite but the toxins, secretions, or organisms in the tick's saliva transmitted through the bite that causes disease.

Two families of ticks, Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks), are important to humans because of the diseases or illnesses they can transmit or cause. Hard ticks have a tough back plate or scutum that defines their appearance. The hard ticks tend to attach and feed for hours to days. Disease transmission usually occurs near the end of a meal, as the tick becomes full of blood. Soft ticks have more rounded bodies and do not have the hard scutum found in hard ticks.

These ticks usually feed for less than one hour. Disease transmission from these ticks can occur in less than a minute. The bite of some of these ticks produces intensely painful reactions. Ticks can transmit disease to many hosts; some cause economic harm such as Texas fever (bovine babeiosis) in cattle that can kill up to 90% of yearling cows.

The following is a list of tick-borne diseases, the usual tick vector(s), and the pathogen(s) the tick transmits:

  • Lyme disease -- Ixodes species including deer ticks (hard ticks) -- vectors for Borrelia species of bacteria
  • Babesiosis -- Ixodes species (hard ticks) -- vectors for Babesia, a protozoan
  • Ehrlichiosis -- Amblyomma americanum or lone star ticks (hard ticks) -- vectors for Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii bacterial species
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever -- Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) and Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) (hard tick) are the primary vectors and occasionally the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus); Amblyomma cajennense (hard tick) is the vector in countries south of the United States -- vectors for Rickettsia bacteria

Outbreaks of tick-related illnesses follow seasonal patterns (about April to September in the U.S.) as ticks evolve from larvae to adults. Ticks go through life cycles that involve mating and larval formation and usually have several hosts. Ticks hide in low brush; this location allows them to physically contact a host. A recent study suggested that leaning against a tree or sitting on an old log was the quickest way to acquire ticks (about 30 seconds) in tick-infested areas. Ticks require a "blood meal" to grow and survive, and they are not very particular upon whom or what they feed. If ticks don't find a host, they may die.

Once a tick finds a host (such as a human, a pet dog or cat, a deer, or a rabbit) and finds a suitable site for attachment, the tick begins to burrow with its mouthparts into exposed skin. Tick mouthparts are barbed, which helps to secure them to the host.

Often the tick secretes "cementum" to more firmly attach its mouthparts and head to the host. Ticks may secrete or regurgitate small amounts of saliva that contain neurotoxins. These nerve poisons cleverly prevent the host from feeling the pain and irritation of the bite. Consequently, individuals may never notice the tick bite or its feeding. The saliva may contain a blood thinner to make it easier for the tick to get its blood meal. Some people are allergic to these secretions and may have a quick and may have a quick and allergic reaction to a tick bite.

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Raccoons & Squirrels


Question: What time of year do raccoons and squirrels bear young?

Answer: Raccoons bear young in the Northeast in April & May and squirrels bear young between February & March and June-August

Question: What are the signs of a raccoon intrusion? How do I know if I have a problem?

Answer: Raccoons are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. You may hear noises (loud noises) in the attic, walls, roof, garage, fireplace etc., during this time. You may also hear squealing or crying during mating season. Vents, attic fans, and roofing can easily be damaged by a raccoon attempting to enter or exit your premises. If they have been nesting in your place for a while, you may experience a bad odor due to fecal matter and urine. (Fecal matter and urine carry bacteria and should not be inhaled or touched.) Arrow can safely remove and clean all of this debris as well as replace all damaged insulation. Many times this is covered by insurance.

Question: Can you remove raccoons in my backyard?

Answer: By law, nuisance wildlife trappers cannot remove wildlife unless they are doing physical damage to property or your family is threatened by them.

Question: Do raccoons do damage inside attics?

Answer: Yes. They can soil areas with urine and fecal material. They can completely ruin insulation this way.

Question: Do squirrels and raccoons chew wires?

Answer: Squirrels chew wires and lots of other things. Raccoons, on the other hand, do not. They do their damage with urine and fecal material.

Question: I think raccoons are living under my deck. What do I do?

Answer: The raccoons should be removed. If they are destroying property or threatening your family they can be trapped. After they are removed, you should consider rodent prevention or screening the deck. Arrow can do this. Simply give us a call for a free estimate.

Question: I am hearing noises. How can I tell what they are from?

Answer: First, remember that raccoons are nocturnal (awake at night) and squirrels are not (they sleep at night). So if you're hearing scuffing and shuffling in walls or the attic, chances are they are squirrels. Loud noises at night generally indicate raccoons. Please don't forget that the intruder could be a mouse or rat.

Question: I have no pets but I have fleas. Where did they come from?

Answer: Fleas have to be brought in by something. Squirrels and raccoons carry fleas. Chances are if you have fleas and no pets, a squirrel, raccoon or rat brought them in.

Question: I found a dead animal in my house. What concerns should I have?

Answer: When an animal dies you will find many ectoparasites including: fleas, carpet beetles and lice. When the animal is removed it is a good idea to treat the nesting area to eliminate the possibility of a different infestation.

Question: Can squirrels and raccoons fit into my chimney?

Answer: Yes. In fact it is very common. A simple solution is to get a chimney cap installed. Get Rid Pest for pricing.

Question: How many squirrels can there be nesting in my attic?

Answer: Since squirrels are very social, you can expect their whole family to nest there. Typically 2-12 squirrels will be nesting in your attic.

Question: Does Get Rid Pest offer programs to treat nuisance wildlife?

Answer: Absolutely! Get Rid Pest is a full service pest control company. Simply give us a call. Please note that we may or may not be currently trapping raccoons due to the rabies situation, however we do have a contact we can give you if we are not able to trap them.

raccoons

Raccoons

Inquisitive, methodical, intelligent, strong and destructive. For a homeowner a raccoon may be their worst nightmare. Ranging from 22-44 pounds, a raccoon is a sizeable intruder. Often nesting in houses, raccoons have become a nuisance pest in the Northeast United States. The raccoon is from the genus Procyon in the family Procyonedae. They prefer wooded swampy areas often near water and avoid high elevations. Breeding is from February to early March with a 63 day gestation period. The litters are generally 1-7 young. If it is consistently below 25 degrees or if it snows a lot, they will become dormant, spending weeks in a deep sleep yet never actually going into hibernation.

Raccoons can be destructive and leave quite a mess where they are nesting. The fecal matter and urine can ruin insulation, ceilings and any other area they nest in. The removal of nesting raccoons should be left to a professional New York State Licensed Trapper (Arrow has over 20 on staff) since they can be dangerous and carry rabies. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us and we will be happy to make an appointment to come over at your convenience.

squirel

Squirrels

Squirrels are members of the rodent family Sciuridae and typically have a long bushy tail and slender body. Squirrels vary in size from such tiny tropical forms as the pygmy squirrels, Myosciurus, of Africa, which are about 130mm (5 in) in length including the tail, to the giant squirrels, Ratufa, of Asia, which may attain 91cm (36in). The American eastern gray squirrel, Sciurus Carolinensis, typical of the tree squirrels, is native to the forests of the eastern half of the United States.

They normally nest in tree hollows or may construct leaf nests, which are used mainly as feeding shelters. Gray squirrels may breed in midwinter and again in late spring. Gestation is about 44 days, with usually two to four young per litter. Squirrels are very social animals and nest with their families. One can expect from 2-12 squirrels may be nesting together, this includes when they nest in an attic.

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Mices


mice

Question: Are mice a health threat for my family?

Answer: Yes, mice can damage / destroy materials by gnawing and contaminating stored food products, transmitting diseases as carriers or vectors. Some examples of diseases that can be spread by rodents are Salmonellosis (acute food poisoning), Rickettsia pox Hantavirus (via droppings), tapeworm, and infectious jaundice.

Question: How can I tell if house mice are in my home?

Answer: The easiest way to determine if mice are in your home is the presence of fecal material (droppings). Mouse droppings are commonly black in color and resemble grains of rice. A mouse can drop approx. 50 fecal droppings per day.

Question: Where are house mice found in the U.S.?

Answer: They have worldwide distribution and they are found throughout the U.S.

Question: How can they enter my home?

Answer: Mice can enter through very small openings (1/4 inch or larger). They can enter around garage doors, pipe conduits entering or leaving walls and basement windows that do not seal correctly.

Question: If I do have mice in my house, how fast can they multiply?

Answer: The house mouse is a prolific breeder; they reach sexual maturity in 35 days. The average litter size is 6 young, with about 8 liters per year. The average lifespan is normally less than 1 year, but mice have been known to live as long as 6 years.

Question: How do I get rid of these pests and assure myself that I did everything possible to keep new mice from entering my home again?

Answer: Of course you can try to catch them yourself. But your best bet is to contact a professional pest control company, like Arrow. We offer a large selection of rodent removal and rodent prevention programs. Contact us for further information or for a free estimate.

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Rats


rats

There are about 4,000 species of mammals in the world. At about 1500 species, rodents make up the largest group of mammals. Here in the northeast US, we are concerned with two species that we consider structural pests; the House Mouse and the Norway rat. Once thought to be 'dumb' animals, recent research has proven that rats and most likely mice are capable of cognitive reasoning. Next to man the most successful animal on earth is the House Mouse. Rodents living close to people and in their structures are called commensal rodents. Rodents will eat anything that humans eat and then some! Mice do not need standing water to survive. Mice are very efficient at conserving water and can get their water from the foods they eat. Rats, on the other hand, do need a ½ ounce of water daily and about 1 ½ ounces of food. Like humans, rats and mice need certain nutritional requirements to remain healthy. Both rats and mice eat a varied diet. Mice need only about 1/10th of an ounce of food a day to survive. Rats will lick the morning dew off grass and get enough water to survive.

Mice and rats have special abilities that have made their survival possible. Mice and rats have developed unique behavioral characteristics that permit them to live in close proximity to humans and to be rarely noticed. It is only when populations become large that their presence is discovered.

Both rats and mice carry diseases that are transmittable to humans. These include salmonella food poisoning, Leptospirosis, LCM, Hanta Virus and other diseases that can make people sick. Their droppings, urine and hair contaminate the environment and cause sensitive people to experience allergic reactions from these biological materials. Mice and rats contaminate stored food items with their fecal material, urine and hair. Their constant gnawing behavior causes structural damage and when electrical wires are the target of their gnawing, they can start fires and damage sensitive electronic items such as computers.

You will never eliminate these rodent pests but Arrow can provide the service necessary to effectively eliminate these rodent pests from your home or business and keep them out.

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Termites


termite

Question: Are termites active only in the spring when I see them swarm?

Answer: No. Termites are active 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all year long.

For years pest management professionals recommended corrective termite treatments when a swarm was observed. In fact, the swarm was usually the only indication that you had a termite problem. Termites are very secretive. They do not expose themselves. Their behavior is such that they must stay hidden to survive. Termites have had over 250,000,000 years to become experts at being very hard to detect and they are very, very good at it.

Other than performing a visual inspection of exposed and accessible wooden structural members of your home, the swarm was the only sure way to know that termites were active in and/or around your home. Recently, something unusual appears to be happening in termite behavior. Termites seem to be changing their behavior in such a way that they are becoming even more difficult to identify. Their classic swarming behavior which had been relied upon as a sure indication of termite activity is changing.

That is to say that the termites may have found another way to reproduce making swarming less and less likely. Termite swarming is one way that male and female termites mate and begin a new colony insuring the survival of the species. Classic swarming involves the creation of males, kings and females, queens. When they are ready, the workers force these winged males and females out into the world to find each other and mate. Often, 1,000's of winged kings and queens emerge out of the ground, fly short distances, drop to the ground, find each other and run-off to mate and begin a new colony.

The problem is that the termites are not only swarming in less numbers but apparently many colonies are not even swarming! What's going on? A possible explanation is that the termites are somehow swarming underground. This is not likely; at least not in the true sense of swarming as we have come to know and understand it. Somehow, the colony is producing reproductive members without wings and they are satisfying the biological urge for a colony to reproduce.

If this is true, it would be quite amazing because this type of huge behavioral shift usually takes years to occur. Species usually do not undergo significant behavioral changes over night! It takes generations to cause significant genetic mutations even though mutations occur spontaneously.

What This Means for the Home Owner?

Relying on termite swarms to decide to take corrective actions may not be the prudent thing to do. Just because you don't 'see' a swarm doesn't mean you are termite free. More now than ever before the home owner must be proactive. Yearly termite inspections may be the way to go. However, the home owner must understand that even with a visual inspection of accessible areas in a structure, the termites still may go unseen. So what do we do? There are several options as I see it. Install a termite monitoring system around the structure, termite inspection . The next option is to do nothing and wait till you see a swarm or until you discover damage. The home owner should consider a yearly inspection by Get Rid Termite and Pest Control Services.

Question: Sometimes down south I see houses that are tented to treat for termites. Do they do that here in New Jersey?

Answer: No. In the south they have a different kind of termites, dry wood termites that are treated by tenting since they actually live in the house. Here in the Northeast we have eastern subterranean termites. Since they live underground, tenting would have no effect on them. We treat our termites in other ways, including chemicals and bait.

Question: How do I tell flying ants from termites?

Answer: Many ways. (See images below). Termites drop their wings to mate and then try to return to the ground. If you miss the swarm itself, you will find lots and lots of wings on a windowsill or near another heat or light source. The wings are the size and shape of rice. They are white-opaque and not visible veined. Ants do not usually drop their wings. In addition, termites have straight antennae while ants' antennae are elbowed. Lastly, termite wings are all the same length while ants have long and short wings.



Termites:

  • Straight antennae
  • No waistline
  • Front and back wings exactly same size

Ants:

  • Elbowed antennae
  • Narrow waistline
  • Front wings much longer than back wings

Question: When I have a termite problem does that mean that termites are living in my home?

Answer: No. Termites live in the soil under and around the building. They travel to and from the wooden portions of the structure (on which they feed) through mud tunnels they build (see worker termite below). That way they can get to the food source they require without leaving the moisture (which they also require) of the soil. Termite tunnels or shelter tubes can often be seen on foundation walls, structural timbers in basements, crawl spaces or in garages. Sometimes probing is required to find termite evidence.

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Yellow Jackets


yellow

Yellow Jacket Wasps - Yellow Jacket wasps often become a nuisance especially from August through October, as they build up in large populations and scavenge for human food (carbonated beverages, cider, juices, ripe fruits and vegetables, candy, ice cream, fish, ham, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) at picnics, cookouts, outside restaurants, bakeries, campsites, fairs, sports events and other outdoor get-togethers. Many are attracted in large numbers to garbage cans and other trash receptacles. Others fly in and out of nests built around homes, buildings and areas where people live, work and play, causing fear and alarm.

Although yellow jackets are considered quite beneficial to agriculture since they feed abundantly on harmful flies and caterpillars, it is their boldness (sometimes aggressiveness) and painful stinging ability that cause most concern. Nevertheless, unless the threat of stings and nest location present a hazard, it is often best to wait for Mother Nature, with freezing temperatures in late November and December, to kill off these annual colonies. Stinging workers do not survive the winter and the same nest is not reused.

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