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Is it a Rat or a Mouse?

Is it a Rat or a Mouse?

When you see a rodent scurrying around your home or business, how do you know if it’s a rat or a mouse? Although both of these types of rodents cause similar problems for property owners, there are significant physical differences between them. Keep the following in mind, so that you can tell the difference between mice and rats. 

Physical Appearance of Mice

Mice are generally smaller in size than rats. These rodents tend to weigh up to 0.5 ounces when they are fully grown, while rats can weigh up to 11 ounces as adults. They have a smaller head, smaller feet, and larger ears compared to rats. They also have a more pointed snout and their coat is a light brown coloring.

Physical Appearance of Rats

Rats are typically bigger than mice. Norway rats have a brown or black body, as well as shorter ears and a blunt snout. They also have bodies that are heavier and thicker than mice and a coat that tends to be longer and have a rougher texture. Their tails are usually a paler coloring underneath and a darker coloring on top. Roof rats, another common type of rat species, are typically a grayish color with some black shading. These rats have bodies that are more slender than Norway rats, and they're also slightly smaller when they are fully grown. They have a more pointed snout similar to a mouse’s snout, as well as larger ears. Roof rats have a smoother coat and a tail that is dark all over in coloring.

Mice are generally smaller in size than rats. These rodents tend to weigh up to 0.5 ounces when they are fully grown, while rats can weigh up to 11 ounces as adults. They have a smaller head, smaller feet, and larger ears compared to rats. They also have a more pointed snout and their coat is a light brown coloring.

Other Differences Between Mice and Rats

Mice and rats also differ in terms of their droppings. Mouse droppings are typically shaped like a rod, while rat droppings have a more blunted or capsule-like shape. Both of these rodents are known for leaving droppings behind as they move about looking for food and water. Since their feces can contain harmful germs, it’s important to have professional pest control experts inspect your home or business if you find any.

Another difference between rats and mice is where you’re more likely to find them. Mice are generally found in a wide range of habitats, including rural and urban areas, as well as indoor and outdoor areas. They can easily fit through narrow openings to gain entry into residential and commercial buildings. Norway rats are usually found in lower areas of buildings, while roof rats are mainly found in higher areas, such as on upper floors, roofs and trees. Rats and mice are both nocturnal, so you’re much more likely to see or hear them during the night rather than during the day.

If you have rats or mice on your residential or commercial property, please contact Perfection Pest Control for help. We offer dependable pest control services in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky.

Have a pest problem? We have the perfect solution. Schedule an inspection!

Spiders Part 2 of 2: Brown Recluses

Spiders Part 2 of 2: Brown Recluses

You may have heard a couple stories about the brown recluse spider and how it can be dangerous, but would you know if you saw one? Do you know what climates they live in, and how they behave? When it comes to spiders that may pose a threat (or at least, an annoyance), it's important to understand how to spot them and what actions to take if it looks like you have a pest problem! Let's take a closer look at the brown recluse and everything you need to know!

Looks

The brown recluse is an unassuming spider, colored light to dark brown and only around ¼ to ½ inch long – and most of that is the recluse's spindly legs. The easiest way to identify the brown recluse is the violin-like brown shape on its back. However, because of the recluse's size you usually have to get pretty close to see this, so be careful when studying spiders! If you spot a small brown spider in your home and you live the right climate (more on this in a bit), it's usually worth a careful examination.

The brown recluse is an unassuming spider, colored light to dark brown and only around ¼ to ½ inch long – and most of that is the recluse's spindly legs. The easiest way to identify the brown recluse is the violin-like brown shape on its back.

Habits

The brown recluse is well-named: These spiders are famously reclusive and prefer to stay away from people, animals and light, hiding in dark spaces. That means you can often find them in woodpiles, sheds, and piles of old leaves outdoors. Inside, their hermit-like habits can prove more dangerous: Brown recluses may call boxes in your attic or basement home. They may find a spot to live in dark closets or at the bottom of boots, too. When exposed, they will usually try to scurry away.

Habitat

There are 11 species of brown recluse spiders that can be found around the world (except, up to this time, for Asia and Australia). In the United State, brown recluses tend to stay where it's warm and preferably dry. They are found primarily in Midwest and Southeast states, and have been seen as far west as Nebraska and as far north as Ohio.

Danger and Prevention

The goods news is that brown recluses are not aggressive. If they bite a human, it's generally by accident as they are trying to get away. However, that bite can be potent, especially if high levels of venom are injected. Reactions vary from a mild allergic response to serious tissue death, so it's important to keep an eye on the bite if you think it was a recluse.

Prevention is all about making sure these tiny spiders can't get inside. It's important to seal up any cracks, gaps and small spaces in your home, as well as making sure that your weather-stripping doesn't wear down. Make sure your attic and basement are tidy, and that all containers are tightly sealed. Outside, keeping wood piles away from the house and making sure there is no piled debris can help keep recluses away. Pest professionals can help you make these changes, and clear out a serious infestation!

Do you think that you might have dangerous spiders or other unpleasant bugs living in your home or business? Schedule your service with us today!

Have a pest problem? We have the perfect solution. Schedule an inspection

Spiders Part 1 of 2: Black Widows

Spiders Part 1 of 2: Black Widows

The famous black widow spider is bad news for homeowners — but do you know how to spot one? Do you know if black widow spiders live in your area, and in what parts of your home they are likely to be found? If you have a pest problem that can pose health issues, it's important you know how to identify it and what to do next. So let's examine the infamous black widow and what you should know about this spider.

Looks

Out of all the dangerous spiders, black widows are one of the easiest to identify thanks to that famous reddish-orange hourglass on their abdomen (females only). However, the hourglass is on the front of their body, so if you are looking at the back of the spider, all you'll see is a small black spider around 1 and ½ inches long. Additionally, the hourglass mark only shows up on mature spiders, so young black widows will just look black.

Habits

Black widows are big fans of warm weather. When the temperature hits 10 degrees Fahrenheit or higher they will often be active, spinning their webs: These webs are typically described as "irregular" without any set shape, which allows the widow to build webs in many different places. However, they typically prefer webs at ground level, where they often spin in bushes and corners.

Interestingly, the black widow does not actually kill and eat their mate – at least, not often enough to win a name for it. Many spiders occasionally devour their mates, and black widows are no exception. However, the female of the species does tend to be more aggressive, while the male rarely bites anyone.

The black widow is a hardy species, and can be found in every state except Alaska, which is too cold for the spider. In other colder climates, the black widow will try to venture inside to find warmer areas during the winter.

Habitat

The black widow is a hardy species, and can be found in every state except Alaska, which is too cold for the spider. In other colder climates, the black widow will try to venture inside to find warmer areas during the winter. This means that cold months can be an especially dangerous time to encounter black widows seeking refuge – and ready to defend their territory.

Danger and Prevention

Black widow females can be aggressive when spinning their webs or laying eggs and guarding their egg sac, which can lead to bites when disturbed. Fortunately, black widow bites very rarely kill anyone except the very sick or very sensitive. However, the bite can cause fever, increased blood pressure, and nausea: It's important to treat these symptoms quickly to avoid any danger.

Prevention focuses on being tidy and careful. Keep wood piles and other debris away from the house, and elevated if you can – black widows rarely venture far away from the ground. If you spot webs in your storage areas or closets, examine them for black widows before you start moving them. If you seem to have a serious infestation, contact a professional and ask them about the next steps you should take.

Do you think that you might have dangerous spiders or other unpleasant pests living in your home or business? Schedule your service with us today!

Have a pest problem? We have the perfect solution. Schedule an inspection

Paper Wasp or Yellow Jacket: What’s Bugging You?

Do you feel your home has been invaded by an army of yellow and black stinging insects? Considering the dangers of yellow jacket wasps, you may be right to feel concerned. However, your uninvited guests may be paper wasps that have no interest in you and your family. In fact, if you have a garden, you may want to allow your paper wasp colony to thrive. But how do you accurately identify such similar insects?

Distinguishing Behavior

Both yellow jackets and paper wasps display these commonalities:

  • Form colonies that last one year
  • Create nests by chewing plant and wood fiber which they form into a nest structure with many holes.
  • Are predatory omnivores, meaning they hunt other insects but will also eat nectar.

While they have this much in common, you can tell them apart by the following behaviors.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets scavenge meat in addition to hunting other insects, such as spiders, which is why you often see them at picnics. You may not notice any around your patio until you stoke up your grill. Once they detect delicious meat, yellow jackets tend to come out in numbers.

Yellow jackets also nest in the ground, often in abandoned rodent burrows, although some varieties will build their hives above ground. When they do, they usually build their nests with an outer shell for protection rather than the open, umbrella-shaped nests of paper wasps.

The most important difference is the aggressive tendencies of yellow jackets to sting. If they feel in any way threatened, they won't hesitate to sting. Unfortunately, when they nest in the ground, just passing by can be viewed as a provocation.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps, on the other hand, prefer live meat, going after pestiferous insect larvae with voracious appetites. While they will sting if you actively threaten the hive, mostly they just want to eat the larvae of insects that damage your garden. Because they efficiently wipe out infestations of undesirable bugs — and do a little pollinating, too — you may wish to avail yourself of their excellent pest control capabilities rather than eradicate them.

The most important difference is the aggressive tendencies of yellow jackets to sting. If they feel in any way threatened, they won't hesitate to sting. Unfortunately, when they nest in the ground, just passing by can be viewed as a provocation.

Distinguishing Physical Features

While very similar in appearance at first glance, you can tell them apart by the following differences.

Yellow Jackets

  • Black antennae
  • Thicker waists
  • Wider wings
  • Retracted legs in flight

Paper Wasps

  • European variety has orange antennae
  • Longer bodies
  • Significantly more black than yellow
  • Darker wings
  • Dangling legs when in flight
  • Very narrow waists making a sectional appearance

The aggressive nature of yellow jackets can threaten your family and virtually eliminate your ability to enjoy your patio in the summertime. You definitely should try to control them. However, the insect control benefits of paper wasps override the minuscule odds of attack. If your family has no member allergic to the venom of stinging insects, you should seriously consider allowing paper wasps to flourish. If you're having a tough time telling them apart, give us a call at Perfection Pest Control. We can accurately identify wasps and offer expert advice. Please give us a call today!

Have a pest probelm? We have the perfect solution. Scheudle an inspection

Biting Insects 101

Excepting chirping crickets and pretty ladybugs, most of us have a horror of bugs. Unfortunately, insects with females that need blood for food in order to reproduce live everywhere around you and can threaten your health and peace with their bites. Here's a little introduction to our common biting insect species that you certainly want to avoid if at all possible.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes need water to breed. Therefore, any place with a lot of water will almost certainly have a population of them. While they're a good insect for bats, birds, fish and other creatures that feed on them, they're not so good when they feed on us. The males do not bite, but there never seems to be a shortage of females that do. Mosquitoes carry several types of communicable diseases which they spread when biting. In North America, mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus. Mosquito bites, at the very least, cause red, itchy welts that you'd rather avoid.

To lessen the numbers of mosquitoes harassing your family, make sure you empty anything on your property that holds standing water after a rain or irrigation. Also, keep your thick vegetation, such as grass and weeds mowed regularly and your trees and shrubs trimmed. This will also help protect you from ticks.

Ticks

As arachnids (like spiders), ticks have no wings by which to come to you. Rather, they wait patiently on tree branches, leaves and grass until a mammal brushes by. Then they drop down or climb aboard and look for a good place to bite.

Found in heavily vegetated areas, ticks also spread disease. Dog ticks, black-legged deer ticks, lone star ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks make up the majority of species in the United States. Hazards of tick bites include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.

Found in heavily vegetated areas, ticks also spread disease. Dog ticks, black-legged deer ticks, lone star ticks and Rocky Mountain wood ticks make up the majority of species in the United States. Hazards of tick bites include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.

They vary in color, from gray to dark brown, and appear like flattened ovals. The longer the head remains under the surface of the skin once it bites, the better the chances an infected tick will pass on the parasite or bacteria of infection.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs come out at night when you're sleeping. At a quarter of an inch long, you can readily see adults if you expose them. They resemble apple seeds in shape and color. While bed bugs don't spread disease, they do cause a lot of annoying, itchy welts. Like with fleas, you can develop an allergy to bed bug saliva, which renders further bites more dangerous.

Fleas

The tiny flea has a narrow body and reddish brown color. The common species is the cat flea which loves to feast on pets and humans alike. It, too, spreads disease, such as the bubonic plague and murine typhus. Also, they can act as intermediate hosts for tapeworms.

Eradicating biting insects from your home and yard presents a daunting challenge. Some retail "solutions" can even make the problems worse. To create a safe environment for your family, call us at Perfection Pest Control. We will happily inspect your property for pests and offer a sensible plan to exterminate any pesky species invading your space. Contact us today!

Have a pest probelm? We have the perfect solution. Scheudle an inspection

Quick Fact Sheet: Carpenter Bees

Quick Fact Sheet: Carpenter Bees

When you see large, round bees hovering around outside close to homes, these are known as carpenter bees. Although these bees are a common sight when it’s warm out, having them buzzing around the exterior of your home could mean that you have an infestation. Since these bees can damage your home, it’s important to learn more about them and know what to do if you have a carpenter bee problem. Keep the following information about these bees in mind this summer.

They Prefer Untreated Wood

Carpenter bees make their nests inside wood structures, such as home exteriors, sheds, benches and fences. However, not all structures attract these insects. Carpenter bees prefer boring into wood that’s untreated rather than wood that is painted or treated. If you have wood surfaces that have not been treated, you might end up having a carpenter bee problem if these bugs decide to nest on your property.

They Can Cause Structural Damage

Carpenter bees aren't the same as termites. They don’t eat wood, but they can make several holes in wood surfaces in order to dig tunnels and set up their nests. While the holes they make might not start out large, they can become bigger if these bees keep using them year after year. The tunnels and nests they build can also cause structural damage to homes and other wood structures, which can end up costing a considerable amount of money to fix.

Are carpenter bees dangerous in terms of stinging? These bees aren't as much of a threat as other bee species or some wasp species. In fact, none of the males have a stinger, although they might dive toward you if you approach their territory.

They Rarely Sting

Are carpenter bees dangerous in terms of stinging? These bees aren't as much of a threat as other bee species or some wasp species. In fact, none of the males have a stinger, although they might dive toward you if you approach their territory. Females have stingers, but they rarely use them. Female carpenter bees generally only sting if they’re provoked, such as if you try to handle them. If you’re allergic to bees, carpenter bees aren't as big of a concern as more aggressive species.

They Bore Into Wood

Carpenter bees create their tunnels and nests by boring into wood. Their wood-boring behavior creates smooth, circular holes in surfaces, which can cause an unsightly appearance on home exteriors. These bees might also leave stains on wood surfaces, resulting in an even more unsightly appearance. If you see these bees, which are large and have a hairless abdomen, flying around your home’s exterior or crawling in and out of it, look for holes and other signs of damage. If you do have a problem with these bees, it’s important to have professional pest control company take a look at your property and get rid of these bugs.

If you have carpenter bees making holes in your home exterior, please contact us at Perfection Pest Control. Our pest control experts know how to safely eliminate carpenter bees before they can further damage your home.

Buying a Home: Why You Should Schedule a Pest Inspection

Buying a Home: Why You Should Schedule a Pest Inspection

If you are purchasing a house or are involved in the sale of a property, consider making a pest inspection part of your sales process! It can be particularly valuable for buyers know about any pest issues a house has, especially before they sign for the final sale. Here are the top reasons to arrange an inspection before you buy.

Making Infestations a Part of Your Home Package

Suppose you only discover a pest infestation — like carpenter ants hidden in the basement — after you purchase the home and start moving in. That infestation is now your problem. All the damage it might cause, and the expenses involved in treating it, are on you. However, if you arrange an inspection before the sale is finalized, then you can discover the infestation early. This gives buyers a chance to say, "Wait, this is a future expense I didn't know about. I'm going to need you to drop the sales price a bit to compensate for it, or otherwise arrange a pest control visit to take care of it." This is valuable leverage that can also save you money!

Finding Past Damage You Didn't Know About

Homeowners are usually required to state any infestation damage that has occurred to the house in the past. However, homeowners may not know about damage, or it might "slip their minds" when it comes to listing the details. A professional pest inspection can make sure there isn't any notable damage to insulation, wood, flooring, and other important components in the house before you purchase.

Some homebuyers may worry about termites, ants, and other destructive pests that they can't see and that no one else has found. For general peace of mind, it can be a very good idea to arrange a pest inspection of the home and yard to see if there are any pest-related issues or any vulnerable areas that may need work in the future.

Peace of Mind About the Unknown

Some homebuyers may worry about termites, ants, and other destructive pests that they can't see and that no one else has found. For general peace of mind, it can be a very good idea to arrange a pest inspection of the home and yard to see if there are any pest-related issues or any vulnerable areas that may need work in the future.

Making Sure the Home is Safe for Your Family

A pest inspection can also uncover stinging insects, poisonous spiders, bed bugs, and other creatures that may be dangerous for your family. It's important to know if these pests are around, where they like to linger, and how to deal with them effectively.

Ensuring the Home Value Stays Steady

You don't want the value of your home to drop after you buy it, especially if you are planning to flip the house or at least increase the equity with renovations of your own. Don't let pests destroy these important plans under your nose! Arrange a pest inspection before deciding on these big projects.

Buying a home, or arranging the sale of an important property? Schedule your inspection with us at Perfection Pest Control today for new peace of mind!

Schedule your inspection with us at Perfection Pest Control today for new peace of mind!

Pest Prevention Tips for Commercial Buildings

Pest Prevention Tips for Commercial Buildings

Insects, rodents and other pests can turn into major problems for commercial building owners. Some pests can be a public health hazard due to the spread of disease, while others can ruin food and other items. There are a few steps that you can take to prevent pests from causing trouble in your commercial building. Use the following tips to reduce your risk of developing a pest problem.

Empty Trash Regularly

Cockroaches, ants, flies, mice and other pests are attracted to areas that contain garbage for them to forage through. Garbage cans provide them with potential sources of food, which will keep them coming back for more. This can result in a large pest problem that is challenging to deal with. You can lower your risk of drawing pests into your commercial building by making sure that all garbage cans are emptied on a regular basis instead of leaving them full overnight. Garbage from inside these cans should be placed in outdoor trash cans or bins that are tightly sealed. This helps prevent pests from getting in and sticking around your property.

Many kinds of pests are also drawn to areas in commercial buildings that provide them with moisture or water to drink. Mice, rats and some insect pests, such as ants and cockroaches, look for moist or wet spots inside these buildings and will often return or build a nest nearby

Eliminate Wet Spots and Moisture

Many kinds of pests are also drawn to areas in commercial buildings that provide them with moisture or water to drink. Mice, rats and some insect pests, such as ants and cockroaches, look for moist or wet spots inside these buildings and will often return or build a nest nearby. In other cases, wet spots or moisture from leaks and other issues softens the wood, making it easier for carpenter ants and other pests to invade and build nests. When this happens, there’s also a danger of having serious damage done to walls and other structures from these pests. Fixing leaks and getting rid of any areas with moist or wet spots helps discourage these pests from entering your building.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance and Inspections

You don’t have to wait until your commercial building has a pest problem before calling in the professionals to take care of it. Setting up preventative maintenance and routine inspections can help you catch problems early or stop them from happening in the first place. This type of maintenance involves having pest control professionals treat specific areas where pests are commonly found and look for signs of a potential problem, such as entry points that bugs or other pests can get in through. Inspections help identify any infestations that might be occurring so that they can be dealt with right away. This prevents these infestations from becoming serious problems.

Have a pest problem? We have the perfect solution. Schedule an Inspection.

Preventative maintenance is one of the most effective ways to stop pests from becoming a problem in your building. Contact Perfection Pest Control to set up this service, so you won't have to worry about dealing with pest problems.

6 Tips for Pest Prevention This Spring

6 Tips for Pest Prevention This Spring

Springtime brings warmer weather for you to enjoy, but it also means that more pests will be out and about. Some of these pests can sting or bite, while others can contaminate your food. Find out what steps to take in order to keep insects and other pests at bay this season. 

Find and Eliminate Stinging Insects

Bees, wasps, and hornets can be a major problem during spring, as these stinging insects become more active. Look around your yard, your home’s exterior, your attic and other areas for nests that these insects might be building for the season. Have professional pest control experts safely remove them for you if you come across any.

Check Your Home’s Exterior for Entry Points and Seal Them

Many bugs are small enough to squeeze through cracks, gaps and other openings in your home exterior. Mice can also make their way into your home through these entry points. Seal up any openings you find to prevent these pests from getting in. Keep in mind that this might also involve replacing screens that are torn.

Trim Tree Branches and Shrubs Away from Your Home’s Exterior

Carpenter ants and other bugs have an easy way to reach your home by walking across tree branches and shrubs. You can reduce this risk by keeping branches and shrubs trimmed away from your home exterior. This means that pests have to work harder to get into your home.

Ants, flies and other insects are drawn to kitchens and pantries, which provide them with a steady supply of food. Sweeping your floors, wiping off counters and cleaning other areas of your kitchen and pantry help discourage these pests from coming into your home.

Keep Your Kitchen and Pantry Spotless

Ants, flies and other insects are drawn to kitchens and pantries, which provide them with a steady supply of food. Sweeping your floors, wiping off counters and cleaning other areas of your kitchen and pantry help discourage these pests from coming into your home. You should also keep pet food bags, and other food containers closed at all times so that any pests that do come in can’t get into them.

Close and Seal Your Trash Cans Tightly

Rats and other pests sometimes look for food to eat inside trash cans. These cans can also end up attracting bigger pests, such as raccoons. Make sure that your trash cans are sealed tightly to stop pests from being able to get inside them. Knowing that they can find food in your cans encourages them to keep coming back.

Move Firewood Piles Away from Your Home

Termites and other pests sometimes build nests in firewood piles. When you leave these piles close to your home’s exterior, these bugs can make their way inside and cause trouble. If you have any piles of firewood in your yard, move them away from the outside of your home.

If you have pests in your home this spring, contact Perfection Pest Control. Our pest control technicians can eliminate pest problems safely and thoroughly.

The Warning Signs of Termites

The Warning Signs of Termites

Termites can cause a considerable amount of damage to homes when an infestation is left untreated. Unfortunately, these pests can go undetected inside the walls of your home for months or even years. How do you know if you have them? Keep an eye out for the following warning signs of a termite infestation.

Mud Tubes or Shelter Tubes

One of the most noticeable signs that you might have termites in your home is the presence of mud tubes or shelter tubes. Termites build these tubes, which are roughly the width of a pencil, from the ground to your home. These tubes allow them to travel back and forth in a sheltered environment that provides them with enough heat and humidity. These tubes also keep them safe from predators as they move to and from your home. Keep in mind that larger or wider tubes often indicate a more serious infestation.

Termites feed on wood, which is why they’re so destructive to homes. As they feed on wood inside your walls and other parts of your home, structural problems can develop. The wood becomes weaker and can sag or show visible signs of damage.

Discarded Wings

Not all members of a termite colony reproduce. Those who do are called swarmers, and these termites have wings that are discarded shortly after they fly off to establish a new colony. Termites that nest in dry wood might swarm at different times, but those that live in the ground tend to swarm during spring. If you see piles of discarded wings near your window sills or other areas of your home, it’s time to seek help from professional termite control experts. Check around the outside of your home, since you might find these wings out there as well.

Visibly Compromised Wood

Termites feed on wood, which is why they’re so destructive to homes. As they feed on wood inside your walls and other parts of your home, structural problems can develop. The wood becomes weaker and can sag or show visible signs of damage. Watch for areas of wood floors that sound hollow or sag. You can also tap on walls to listen for a hollow sound that indicates that termites have caused a significant amount of damage. If you notice signs of damage to the wood in your home, don’t hesitate to have an inspection done to check for the presence of termites. Having infestations treated promptly can help prevent further damage from occurring.

Have a Pest problem? We have the perfect solution. Schedule an inspection!

Don’t wait for termites to do significant damage before getting help. Contact us at Perfection Pest Control today to schedule your inspection.