Mosquito & Tick Season

Image of the forest, a breeding ground for mosquitos and ticks.

This year, mosquitoes are problematic again due to increased moisture, which provides more breeding grounds for mosquito larvae that thrive in stagnant water. To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, it’s crucial to stop larvae from developing into adults. While completely eliminating mosquitoes is impossible, our control strategy involves spraying pesticides on underbrush, foliage, grass, and low-lying trees. This treatment kills mosquitoes at all stages of development and prevents them from inhabiting these areas.

For optimal results, begin treatments early in the summer and reapply as necessary throughout the season, especially after heavy rains, which might wash away the insecticide.

Protect yourself from mosquitoes by:

Image of a mosquito with a green strike-through.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants, and keep in mind they are most active at dawn and dusk.
  • Use repellants when traveling in the woods or damp locations.
  • Remove all standing water (flowerpots, buckets, birdbaths, gutters, etc.)
  • Keep your grass cut short.
  • Plant flowers and herbs such as lemongrass, marigolds, garlic, lavender, rosemary, basil, mint, sage, catnip, bee balm, and scented geraniums.

Contact Northern Pest to Schedule a Mosquito Treatment

General Tick Information

Tick season is bad this year, particularly due to a combination of factors. A mild winter across many regions allowed ticks to thrive and emerge earlier than usual. Additionally, an increase in mice populations has led to a boom in ticks, as more hosts are available for them to feed on. The convergence of these two aspects creates a perfect environment for ticks to thrive.

Ticks prefer to live in warm and humid areas (hence why a Michigan summer is perfect for them), particularly in long grass in the shade or by standing water. Common indications of tick bites are rashes and swelling around the bite, a burning sensation, and small blisters. Symptoms of tick bites might last a few weeks, but they have been known to carry Lyme Disease (among some other less common diseases), so it is best to get a bite looked at by a professional if you have any concerns.

Protect yourself from ticks by:

Image of a tick with a green strike-through.
  • Wear clothing covering your arms and legs if walking through woods or areas with long grass.
  • Apply tick repellents on yourself or your animals.
  • Regularly inspect your clothing, arms, legs, and scalp for ticks after being in these areas.
  • To promptly remove ticks, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Afterward, thoroughly clean the area with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • To kill any ticks on your clothing, put them in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes before washing them.
  • Treat your yard for ticks, especially if it borders woods or water.  Keep your yard well-trimmed and remove leaf litter where ticks may hide. 

Contact Northern Pest to Schedule a Tick Treatment

Northern Pest is fully licensed and insured, and we look forward to serving you! From Home, the Lake, Camp, or Your Business –Northern Pest Has You Covered!

Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Keeping Skunks at Bay in Northern Michigan

With the rebirth of spring, a less welcome resurgence occurs in the form of active pests eager to explore and expand their territories. Among these seasonal visitors, skunks pose a unique challenge, known for their distinctive appearance and notorious defense mechanism. As a leading pest control company, we understand the importance of preparing your home or business for the challenges of changing seasons. This article is designed to give you the knowledge and strategies to keep skunks at bay effectively.

Image of a skunk about to spray in defense.

At Northern Pest, we combine exclusion, timely repairs, and the strategic use of rat walls to significantly reduce the likelihood of skunks invading your property. Also, be sure to regularly inspect your property for signs of skunk activity or new potential entry points to maintain an effective defense.

Exclusion of Skunks

  1. Identify Entry Points: Inspect your property for holes, gaps, or openings around the foundation, vents, and under doors or decks. Skunks can enter through small openings, so it’s crucial to identify all potential entry points.
  2. Seal Openings: Use sturdy materials like metal mesh, hardware cloth, or aluminum flashing to seal off any openings. Ensure that the materials are buried at least 1 to 2 feet underground at the base of the foundation or fencing to prevent skunks from digging underneath.
  3. Install Exclusion Barriers: For areas that cannot be sealed off completely, such as beneath decks or sheds, install exclusion barriers that extend into the ground to prevent digging. These barriers should slant outward to deter skunks from getting close.

Making Repairs Caused by Skunks

  1. Fix Structural Damage: Repair any damage to the exterior of buildings, including broken siding, gaps in roofing, or damaged vents. This not only prevents skunk entry but also enhances overall structural integrity.
  2. Secure Garbage and Compost: Skunks are attracted to food sources. Ensure garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and compost bins are securely covered. Consider using bins made of materials that skunks cannot easily penetrate.
  3. Remove Attractants: Eliminate food and water sources that may attract skunks, such as pet food left outside, fallen fruit from trees, and accessible water sources like birdbaths or leaky faucets.

Installing ‘Rat Walls’ to Keep Skunks at Bay

  1. Installation: Rat walls are underground barriers made of concrete or metal that prevent burrowing animals from digging under structures. Install rat walls around the perimeter of sheds, decks, and other vulnerable structures to a depth of at least 18 inches to 2 feet.
  2. Materials: Use durable materials like galvanized steel or reinforced concrete to ensure longevity and resistance against digging.
  3. Consider Professional Help: For best results, consider hiring a professional to install rat walls. They can ensure the walls are installed correctly and provide the most effective barrier against skunks and other burrowing wildlife.

If you think you may have a skunk problem, contact Northern Pest; we’ll come out and inspect and make recommendations based on your unique situation.

Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

How to Detect Rodent Activity, Understand Their Persistence, and Keep Them at Bay

Image of a mouse in a person’s home.

With their remarkable adaptability, rodents have coexisted with humans for centuries, often to our dismay. These unwelcome guests find our homes inviting and the perfect habitat to thrive due to the abundant food, water, and shelter we unwittingly provide. Understanding mouse behavior, detecting their presence early, and adopting preventive measures are crucial in ensuring our homes remain rodent-free. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to spot mouse activity, gain insight on their behavior, and implement effective strategies to keep them out.

Detecting Rodent Activity

Rodent signs are often subtle but unmistakable with closer inspection. Here are key indicators:

  • Droppings: Rodent droppings are a clear sign of activity. Mouse droppings are small, dark, and pointed at the ends, while rat droppings are larger and banana-shaped.
  • Gnaw Marks: Look for fresh gnaw marks on furniture, food packaging, and even wiring, which can indicate an active infestation.
  • Nests: Rodents build nests from shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter. These are often hidden in secluded areas.
  • Noises: Scratching sounds in the walls or attic at night are common signs of mice presence.
  • Footprints and Tail Trails: You might notice rodent footprints or tail trails in dusty environments.

Why Rodents Are So Persistent

Rodents seek environments that satisfy their primary food, water, and shelter needs. Our homes inadvertently offer all these in abundance, making them irresistible to these creatures. Additionally, mice and rats have evolved to live near humans, benefiting from our resources while avoiding outdoor predators.

Mice, rats, and other rodents can easily enter through small openings to nest or search for food, and their rapid breeding can lead to quick infestations, with up to ten litters per year. These pests often seek food in homes and businesses, where they can also spread diseases by contaminating food sources with their droppings. They are particularly problematic in commercial settings like restaurants and apartment complexes, attracting further infestations through pheromones left behind. This makes areas previously infested more susceptible to future problems, emphasizing the importance of early detection and prevention.

Keeping Rodents Out

Keeping rodents out of your home involves a combination of cleanliness, home maintenance, and vigilance. Here are some effective strategies:

  • Seal Entry Points: Conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior. Seal any cracks, holes, or gaps in the foundation, walls, and around doors and windows with steel wool, caulk, or metal sheeting.
  • Maintain Cleanliness: Reduce food sources by keeping your kitchen clean. Store food in sealed containers, dispose of garbage regularly, and clean crumbs and spills promptly.
  • Eliminate Clutter: Rodents hide in cluttered areas. By keeping your home organized and clutter-free, you reduce hiding spots for rodents.
  • Landscaping: Trim vegetation away from your home’s exterior to eliminate shelter for rodents. Consider using gravel or stone as a barrier around the foundation.
  • Professional Help: If you suspect an infestation, it’s wise to seek professional pest control services, such as Northern Pest. We offer tailored solutions for effective eradication and control methods.

How Northern Pest Handles Rodent Control

At Northern Pest, we start by assessing the activity reported by homeowners and conducting a comprehensive inspection from the foundation to the roofline to spot entry points, nesting areas, and potential risks. We then provide an estimate for sealing these entry points to block future infestations. Our approach combines rodenticide bait stations with structural adjustments to stop invasions. Our discreet, secure bait stations and traps are designed to clear the infestation, and we recommend changes to your environment to keep rodents out. Our recurring control program offers continual protection for those seeking ongoing prevention, with regular checks, monitoring, and bait station maintenance.

Maintain a Rodent-Free Environment!

Detecting rodent activity early and understanding why our homes appeal to them are the first steps in keeping them at bay. By adopting preventive measures and maintaining vigilance, we can protect our homes from the dangers and nuisances of rodents. Remember, the key to rodent control is not just to react to their presence but to proactively create an environment that is unwelcoming to them in the first place.

For prompt inspection and removal of wildlife pests, contact us today!

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Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Uninvited Pests: Bed Bug Inspection and Discreet Removal

Image of magnifying glass viewing a bed bug on a mattress.

Dealing with unwelcome pests, especially bed bugs, can be a significant source of discomfort and worry. These minuscule, blood-feeding critters are notorious for invading residential and commercial spaces, leading to unease, health issues, and potential financial loss. Immediate action is essential if you’re concerned about a possible bed bug infestation. In this article, we’ll discuss how Northern Pest effectively and discreetly tackles the challenge of identifying and eliminating bed bugs.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs, while adept at concealing themselves, still leave noticeable clues. When checking your space for these pests, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Bites: Look for itchy, red bites on your skin, often grouped together or in a straight line, suggesting bed bug activity.
  • Small, Rusty Stains: You might find tiny blood spots on your bedding or mattress, which occur due to bed bugs’ feeding patterns.
  • Eggs and Exoskeletons: Examine the nooks of your mattress, furniture, and even wall crevices for shed skins or small, pearl-like eggs.
  • Unusual, Musty Smell: A significant bed bug infestation is often accompanied by a unique, sweet, musty smell.

Bed Bug Problems: Choose Northern Pest!

Northern Pest is your trusted partner for discreet and expert bed bug extermination. Here’s why we stand out:

  • Professional Expertise: Our technicians are extensively trained in identifying and eliminating bed bugs, guaranteeing a comprehensive and successful extermination process.
  • Confidential Service: We recognize the delicate nature of bed bug issues, and our discreet operations minimize attention to your property.
  • Safe, Eco-Friendly Methods: The treatments we use are not only effective but also safe for your family, pets, and the environment, emphasizing eco-friendly solutions.
  • Comprehensive Follow-Up: Post-treatment, our team conducts meticulous follow-up inspections to confirm the complete removal of bed bugs, ensuring lasting comfort and reassurance.

Exterminating Bed Bugs

Our thorough strategy in exterminating bed bug infestations is proven to work:

  • Inspection: Our team conducts a thorough inspection to gauge the severity of the infestation, which helps us formulate an effective treatment strategy.
  • Treatment: We use a mix of heat and chemical treatments, complemented by specialized tools, to target and eliminate bed bugs at every stage of their lifecycle.
  • Proactive Measures: We offer guidance on preventive practices to help avoid future bed bug problems, including advice on keeping your environment bed bug free.

Bed bugs have the potential to rapidly transform your residential or commercial space into a place of discomfort and anxiety. Prompt action is crucial in addressing a bed bug infestation. Northern Pest’s specialists are equipped to assist you in detecting and eradicating bed bugs, restoring tranquility and safeguarding the well-being of your family or patrons.

Don’t let bed bugs overrun your home or business – contact Northern Pest to regain control today!

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Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Bed Bugs in Hotels & More

Unfortunately, bed bugs infiltrate hotels more often than you think. These pests are common in all 50 states, and since they bunker down within upholstery and other fabrics, they survive the harshest winters. Bed bugs don’t only sequester hotels; they hitch a ride from unsuspecting travelers and can cause a nuisance within offices, daycares, hospitals, dorms, apartment buildings, residential homes, and more.

Problematic bed bugs have been on the rise in recent years, especially for hotels. Major cities, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, and Lansing, have faced their fair share of bed bug infestations. As you can imagine, a bed bug invasion often has negative connotations; people may assume a run-down, old motel setting, for example. However, bed bugs don’t discriminate based on luxury or cleanliness; they can thrive and multiply quickly within any environment.  

Although bed bugs are not known to spread disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they are parasites that bite and feed on human and domestic animal blood. These bites result in red, itchy patches that resemble small mosquito bites.  

Bed bugs are incredibly resilient, making them challenging to eradicate. They cling from host to host and are easily transferrable between humans, clothing, luggage, and within the fabric seating of vehicles. Taxis, buses, and airplanes are common hiding places as they wait to find their next host.

Bed bugs can survive for up to one year without feeding. They are nocturnal, and most people who experience bed bug bites do not feel them while sleeping, but typically later, they realize they’ve been bitten. The most common signs of bed bugs include unexplained bites on your body or tiny blood trails on bedsheets or along mattress seams.

Adult bed bugs are visible to the human eye, about the size of a flattened apple seed. They have oval-shaped bodies and are a rusty-brown color.

How to Check for Bed Bugs:

  • Examine your clothing and luggage regularly to catch and prevent a bed bug infestation.
  • Inspect your room as soon as you arrive, placing your luggage on the tiled bathroom floor or in the bathtub until you are confident all is clear. Use a flashlight to inspect the four corners of the mattress, box spring, and bed seams by carefully removing the sheets and the mattress pad. Inspect the edges and cracks, and check around and behind the headboard.
  • Also, check the luggage rack and valet trolley. Inspect the furniture around the bed, including the cracks and crevices of the nightstand. Inspect behind pictures hanging on the wall, and pay special attention to the seams on upholstered furniture.
  • If you find evidence of bed bugs in your room, notify hotel staff immediately, so they can investigate. Do not stay in a room with visible bed bugs. Ask for a replacement room – not near where you found the infestation.
  • Once home, check for bugs within your luggage. Wash clothes and place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for 30-45 minutes at the highest setting. If you can’t launder as recommended, place the items in a seal-tight plastic bag for several days, or placing items in a freezer will work too. Also, vacuum the inside and outside of your luggage and the fabric in your vehicle.  

Pest Management Solutions for Bed Bugs:

Hotels have a responsibility to their guests to provide safe and comfortable sleeping environments and protect them from certain dangers, such as a bed bug infestation. If a guest reports a pest problem, staff should take immediate action to remedy the situation like transferring them to another room and calling a professional pest specialist for removal.

At Northern Pest, we consider the severity of the bed bug infestation and the environment they thrive in to determine the best method for successful extermination. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate, so we use a unique treatment with specialized products and habitat modifications to eliminate them. Our all-natural application agent is deadly to bed bugs and destroys their eggs, yet is harmless to humans.

Place your business or home in professional hands that you can trust with a qualified and efficient pest control agency like Northern Pest. We assure to work quickly and discreetly to handle your bed bug problem. All services are confidential; call to schedule an inspection and estimate today.

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Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Problems with Mice in Campers, Boats, or Other Recreational Vehicles?

Northern Michigan is prone to pests seeking shelter during the harsh winter. When temperatures dip near freezing, residents may notice an uptick in pest activity within the premises. For those who own an RV or camper, keeping mice at bay when the vehicle is not in use is especially difficult. Mice are small enough to squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, so cracks and holes you didn’t know existed can be found and infiltrated by these tiny yet destructive creatures.

Tips to Keep Mice Out of Your Home on Wheels:

  • Inspect for Entry Points: Examine your camper and detect potential entry points. Look underneath the camper and search for any holes that mice may enter, focusing on areas where pipes and electrical wires egress. Inspect the exterior, including windows and doors, under the hood, and check the “basement” storage area. Finally, check the interior, closely inspecting dark, hidden areas such as the back of cabinets and drawers.
  • Prevent Entry: Seal all cracks and gaps with expanding spray foam or caulk. Once you locate entry points, fill them with foam spray, caulk, or wire mesh. Pay special attention to any access panels, the dumping compartment, and your camper’s pop-out or pull-out sections.
  • Keep it Squeaky Clean: After your trip, properly clean your camper. When storing your trailer, even for a short period, all food and condiments should be removed, apart from canned goods. Don’t trust a plastic bin to prevent mice from chewing through, either! Thoroughly clean up crumbs, spills, and sticky messes, including the refrigerator, microwave, countertops, cushions, and floors. If you have children, double-check and clean areas such as the pull-out couch, bed, and play areas.   
  • Storing Your Camper: If able, it’s ideal to keep your camper on a hard, paved surface. Parking your wheels on grassy or wooded areas is where mice are more likely to roam. A solid surface acts like a buffer to further protect your trailer. Also, regularly check your camper so that if there is a problem, you can act quickly to remedy it.
  • Use Natural Mouse Repellent: Consider using DIY remedies such as placing moth balls, dryer sheets, or Irish Spring soap in openings around the camper. Cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil may work, too, as rodents dislike strong smells. Cats are also great at keeping the mice away!
  • Set Up Mouse Traps: Kill traps are another option. You can preemptively set up mouse traps to eliminate those who may wander inside. You will need to periodically check the traps, dispose of any carcasses, and reset new traps.
  • Set Up Recurring Rodent Services: When all else fails, or if you want to go the easy route, Northern Pest can set up a rodent program that will protect your home and property!

Keeping up on recreational vehicles doesn’t have to be a lot of work, and there’s really no way to seal those things up. Take a load off and relax a bit by calling Northern Pest. Our techs will assess your situation, inspect your premises, and recommend solutions. Our reoccurring rodent program includes strategically setting up tamper-resistant devices which hold rodenticide bait blocks. These attract pesky rodents who will eat the bait and leave as they normally would and die outside within a day or two in search of hydration. Our team will regularly come out as scheduled to check and refill the stations with bait. For hassle-free pest control, call Northern Pest today!

Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Check Valves for Bat Exclusion

Small brown bats, common in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, may hibernate for more than six months. With the arrival of warm weather and insects, bats too emerge in search of food. In their hunt, they may find their way into your home and decide it makes a nice area to roost. Any suspected bat invasion should be dealt with as soon as possible as these pests create an unhealthy living environment through exposure to rabies and histoplasmosis. Bats can also damage insulation and may cause a severe odor problem.

Despite their unsanitary nature, bats are extremely beneficial to our ecosystem, in part by controlling insect populations by eating 500 to 1,000 mosquitoes or other similar sized insects per hour. At Northern Pest, we recognize the importance in conserving these mammals. Depending on your geographical location and the time of the year, shortly after breeding season for bats, any exclusion work (evicting bats by the installation of check valves, one-way doors that allow bats to leave but not re-enter) may have to wait. The reason? Because any juvenile bats that are in your attic are still unable to fly. They will starve to death if their mother exits the den to feed and is unable to return due to the check valves and seal work recently completed. Usually, by the end of August, juvenile bats have matured and have flown the roost!

Juvenile bats can present another problem. Much like children, young bats are a bit clumsy and can end up in odd places by coming inside through open windows, chimney flues, exhaust pipes, or via a gap in the soffit or the ridge vent. Once inside, a young bat may not know how to get back out. Undoubtedly, a bat within the home is troubling to most people, and many customers have called us for a singular sighting of one.

The best time of year to complete bat-work is between May and July. If you need to wait until after August, try to get something done before the first constant frost (usually October-November) as not to disrupt an overwintering colony.

To lower the risk of a bat problem:

  • Seal up any entry points
  • Trim trees away from the roof and exterior siding
  • If you hear scratching and clawing sounds coming from the walls or ceiling, especially at night, call Northern Pest to deal with a suspected bat invasion!

For safe, humane removal of bats, call Northern Pest. After a thorough inspection to identify entry points, we install check valves that allow bats to exit and prevent them from returning. Once the colony has vacated, the valves are removed, and the entry points are sealed to prohibit re-entry. After a bat exclusion, the cleanup process can begin, and any restoration repairs required can be done. Contact us to learn more about our process.

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Northern Pest: Our family serving yours! We are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

April 2022 Newsletter

Rodent Bait Stations

A mice infestation is a common household problem that brings several health risks and hazards to a home or business. Once you spot a rodent scurrying around, there are likely dozens more nesting on the property. The most effective way to get rid of these pests is by using bait stations. Unlike trapping devices that catch and kill a singular rodent, or unsafe piles of rodenticide left in various corners, bait stations are tamper-resistant devices that hold rodenticide bait blocks. Pesky rodents are attracted to the bait within the station, they eat and leave as they normally would, and they die outside within a day or two in search of hydration.

Bait stations only work as long as there is enough rodenticide for the rodents you are trying to control. Our recurring rodent services will regularly come out as scheduled to check and refill stations. We not only make sure to use the appropriate bait, but we will ensure that the bait stations are strategically placed both indoors and outdoors. For hassle-free pest control, call Northern Pest today!

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are starting to wake from their dormant state. One of the most common signs that you have an invasion of carpenter ants is wood damage. Piles of sawdust, similar to pencil shavings called “frass,” is actually the excavated wood that they chopped up with their mandibles and discarded near their nest entrance. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood; they burrow through moist structures to build their colony, typically beginning near a window or door frame, along rooflines, and areas with water damage.

Another tell-tale sign is their size; carpenter ants can be 5x larger than a common black ant, and the reproductive ants are winged. The sight of flying carpenter ants indicates that the colony is well established and searching for new settlements. They are identified by their heart-shaped head and single node below their rounded thorax.

A carpenter ant colony will not go away on its own. If you notice any of the mentioned red flags, it is imperative to seek professional pest control services asap. Our professional extermination services will not only prevent future invasions by sealing up cracks and open voids, but we go the extensive length to make sure no ants are left behind (as just a few can rehome a new colony.) We are also licensed, bonded, and insured to make the necessary repairs caused by wildlife damage, bringing back the integrity of your home or office to pre-pest condition.   

Get Help Today!

From Home, the Lake, Camp, or Your Business -Northern Pest Has You Covered!

Northern Pest is licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife control. Comprehensively, our restoration crew is licensed builders with the expertise to not only track wildlife entry points but also repair any damage caused by insects or wild animals. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC offering professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all!

Problematic Carpenter Ants

During home inspections, one of several things we look out for is the existence of wood-boring insects. While many of these pests are beneficial in converting deadwood into the soil, having them in your home can be dangerous as they compromise a house’s structural integrity. The prevalence of wood-boring insects is heavily dependent on the region’s climate. In Michigan, carpenter ants thrive due to the relatively colder environment. While carpenter ants don’t consume wood, they chew and chop it up using their mandibles, preying on moist, damaged wood, to construct their colonies in the portions they’ve tunneled out.

If you notice piles of “frass,” which looks like sawdust, this is the excavated wood shavings that carpenter ants have tunneled out near the nest entrance. Also, the presence of large black ants, especially those that are winged and fly, consider this a red flag and that you potentially have a carpenter ant infestation. The nest may not necessarily be inside your house, however. Instead, carpenter ants may have a nest outside but enter your home searching for food and water. Carpenter ants usually emerge at night, feeding on sugary and fatty foods.

How To Check for Carpenter Ants:

  • May through July, use a flashlight at night to look for foraging workers.
  • After dusk, pay close attention to the attic, basement, and garage. You may be able to follow the worker ants to their nests.
  • Always check for carpenter ants in areas with damp wood, possibly due to leaks, poor ventilation, defective flashing, and condensation.

Over time, the outdoor parent colony will fill capacity and send their winged, reproductive ants to find new colonies, this time – they may be in your home. To get rid of carpenter ants, you need to locate and eliminate the parent and satellite nests. It’s imperative to reach all the ants in the colony, as a few stragglers will create a new settlement.

A carpenter ant colony will not go away on its own. If you notice any of the above-mentioned warning signs of a pest invasion, it is imperative to seek professional insect control services. At Northern Pest, our professional extermination services will not only prevent future infestations by sealing up cracks and open voids, but we go the extensive length to make sure that no ants are left behind (as just a few can rehome a new colony.) We are also licensed, bonded, and insured to make the necessary repairs caused by wildlife damage, bringing back the integrity of your home or office to pre-pest condition.  

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Northern Pest is a local, family-owned, and operated insect and wild animal control company spanning six counties in Michigan’s central upper peninsula. We’ll help you find the least invasive and most cost-effective plan to handle any irritating pest problem affecting your home or business. We are licensed and insured to provide pest control services, building maintenance, and repair work caused by wildlife damage. As a comprehensive animal and insect control company, Northern Pest is honored to give our customers peace of mind by providing solutions for troublesome wildlife. Contact us today at www.northernpest.com or call 906-553-4841 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Transmissible Diseases Carried by Rodents

Beyond sneaking into our residences and breaking into our food supply, rodents are also a significant concern because they can transmit several diseases to humans through waste and other forms of contamination. Mice and rats can carry more than 35 different diseases, so getting rid of them at the earliest sign of an invasion is imperative. Read on to learn about some of the diseases they carry.

Salmonellosis
Caused by the bacterium salmonella, this disease can be spread through contaminated food. The bacteria causes food poisoning; symptoms of which include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
This potentially life-threatening disease spreads through deer mouse waste by means of direct contact with urine or feces, consumption of contaminated foods, or bite. This virus can take one- to five weeks to completely develop symptoms, which typically manifest through fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, chills, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or other abdominal issues. The virus can also become fatal if not properly treated.

Rat-Bite Fever
This disease is caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus bacterium. It spreads to humans through contact with an infected rodent or eating contaminated food. Symptoms generally manifest three- to ten days after exposure and can include fever, headaches, rash, vomiting, and muscle pain. Antibiotics can cure this ailment.

Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM)
A viral infection caused by contact with rodents, this can be transmitted via a mouse’s urine or feces, touching its nesting materials, or a bite. Symptoms come in two phases which include fever, muscle aches, lack of appetite, headache, nausea, and vomiting to start. Then, those infected can experience stiff neck, drowsiness, confusion, sensory disturbances, motor abnormalities, paralysis, and brain inflammation. It’s not usually fatal but can cause hospitalization or permanent neurological damage.

Bubonic Plague
The most famous rodent-caused sickness due to its deadly effect on humans during the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague (also known as Black Death), is transmitted through rats. Fleas with the bacterium Yersinia pestis infect the rats and can also infect humans through handling a contaminated animal, fluid, or tissue. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. Antibiotics can treat this disease quickly, but it can be fatal if left untreated.

Tularemia
Caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, this disease can spread through rabbits, flea and tick bites, airborne dust particles, and contaminated water. The most common symptom of tularemia includes skin ulcers or swollen lymph nodes. It is usually curable through antibiotics but can be life-threatening.

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Do you have a rodent issue? Contact Northern Pest and let our pros handle the problem today.

Northern Pest is a local, family-owned and operated insect and wild animal control company spanning six counties in Michigan’s central upper peninsula. We’ll help you find the least-invasive and most cost-effective plan to handle any irritating pest problem affecting your home or business. We are licensed and insured to provide pest control services, building maintenance, and repair work caused by wildlife damage. As a comprehensive animal and insect control company, Northern Pest is honored to give our customers peace of mind by providing solutions for troublesome wildlife. Contact us today at www.northernpest.com or call 906-553-4841 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.