Warm weather is upon us, and most people are itching to get outdoors. However, the itch from mosquito bites can deter many homeowners from enjoying their own backyard. Luckily, we offer easy tips and safe mosquito treatments to reduce the population of mosquitoes around your property.
The best way to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard is to eliminate stagnant water. A mosquito only needs a bottle cap full of water to breed. Follow the 5 T's to keep mosquitoes to a minimum around your property:
Following through with the 5 T's is your best chance to prevent mosquitoes. Of course, if you want extra protection from the pesky insects, you can take additional common sense measures like the following:
Contact us if you would like more information on our monthly mosquito sprays during the mosquito season (May through October). Our formulas are safe to use on plants and does not endanger humans, animals or bees!
Cockroaches are one of the most dreaded pests. Seeing a cockroach in your home can cause feelings of stress, shame, fear, and just being dirty. Having cockroaches in your home also poses increased risk of asthma and allergies as their saliva, feces and shedding body parts can cause symptoms when you come into contact with them. Cockroaches are nocturnal and are often spotted in dark moist places, so can be an unwelcome sight in your kitchen. Seeing cockroaches in the daytime could mean you have a more serious infestation. They are omnivorous and feed on food scraps, pet food and even book bindings. They are often seen around sinks and kitchen appliances and can quickly flatten their bodies to squeeze into wall cracks, leaving you wondering how to get rid of them.
There are 3 species of cockroaches found in Maryland: German, Oriental and American. German cockroaches in particular are very common in homes, restaurants, and businesses in the Baltimore area.
German cockroaches are light brown and are about 10-15 mm in length. They depend on humans for survival and thrive in places like kitchens and bathrooms. Like all cockroaches, German cockroaches reproduce quickly. A pregnant female cockroach will create an egg casing called an ootheca which stays attached to its body until the eggs hatch. Each ootheca contains dozens of baby cockroaches (nymphs), usually 30-50 nymphs per ootheca. Each female cockroach produces an average of 4-6 oothecae in its lifetime, which is one reason why cockroach infestations can be so difficult to control.
The best way to eliminate cockroaches is to prevent them from appearing at all. Be diligent about cleaning your kitchen surfaces. Seal up cracks/gaps in areas that are prone to infestations. Fix water leaks immediately. Sometimes, even while being proactive against pests, cockroaches can still be introduced into your property through a delivered package or by overflowing from your neighbors. Once cockroaches have entered your home, call a pest professional so we can resolve the issue effectively and efficiently.
The temperatures are slowly warming up in Baltimore and around Maryland, and that means more pests! Spring is a time when many pests and insects in particular re-emerge and become active again. The population of ants, termites, stinging insects, and fleas will be blooming along with springtime flowers very soon. Read the following information to help you get ready for the pest surge:
ANTS AND CARPENTER ANTS
When the temperatures warm up, small odorous ants which normally live in the soil may enter your home if they detect the slightest amount of food. Their colonies will grow over time, so the best solution is to be meticulous about cleaning food scraps and seek professional pest control treatment for stubborn ant problems.
Carpenter ants feed on wood and are usually found on the exterior of homes. They can create nests and colonies nearby or in your home and cause damage by creating tunnels in the wood. Try to keep extra wood and debris away from your home to keep them from damaging your structure. Once you have a carpenter ant problem, you will generally need a pest control professional to treat the affected area for you. Carpenter ants are likely to recur every year, so be diligent about treating them at the first sign of activity.
Many people don't realize that wasps, hornets or yellow jackets may find shelter in attics and wall voids during winter. Once springtime hits, they will become active again and start reproducing. If you do see a stinging insect in your home, look for gaps around your home to determine where the insects are flying in and out.Get a good look at the insects and take pictures of any insect bodies or nests so that a pest control professional can more easily identify which species is nesting in or around your home. Properly identifying the insect is the first step to treating the problem.
Spiders are often found in basements, garages, porches and other sheltered places. You may notice an increase in spiders during the spring because there are more insects around for them to eat. Though spiders may be scary to look at, you may want to keep them around as they are beneficial insects that can help you control the amount of other insects in and around your home.
HOUSEFLIES AND FRUIT FLIES
Once flies are in your home, there is not much that can be done, so prevention is key. Keep your doors closed to prevent flies from flying in. Window and door screens should also be installed and should have no rips or tears. Also, make sure you are disposing of excess/rotting food and water so that you are not attracting flies or other pests. Luckily, flies don't live very long, so once you remove the source that's attracting them, you should see a quick decrease of flies.
Termites become most active in the spring and summer. Termites can cause significant damage to your home by eating wood and leaving behind "mud tubes", often in the basement. Fortunately, they can be controlled by ongoing monitoring and baiting, or liquid treatments. Homeowners often describe termites as "winged ants", because they can look like ants with wings, however make sure you call a pest control professional as soon as possible at the first sighting of termites or termite damage.
Fleas can become a big problem in the spring. Make sure you are regularly grooming and treating your pets to prevent fleas. Also, simple good housekeeping like vacuuming and cleaning floors frequently will reduce the risk of a flea infestation. Flea infestations are difficult to treat on your own, so contact a pest control professional at the first sign of fleas before the issue gets worse.
RATS AND MICE
Rodents are a year-round problem, but sometimes they appear in homes for the first time in the spring. Make sure your doors fit well and seal any gaps around your home prevent pest entry. Also make sure your food and pet food are tightly contained.
Wildlife like birds, snakes,squirrels, and groundhogs may appear on your property in the spring. If they enter your home or burrow around your structure, seek a wildlife professional to remove the animals before they start causing damage to your home. Proper vent covers on vents and chicken wire or lattice work under your sheds and porches can deter animals from creating havoc.
Christmas is almost here! If you haven't picked out your Christmas tree yet, you will want to watch this interview with Pest Czar's Owner, Sasa Milenkovic. The segment aired on December 5 on Baltimore's ABC2 News station. Though extreme infestations do not often happen, there could be up to 25,000 pests (usually aphids, mites and spiders) in one Christmas Tree. Pest Czar has advice for keeping these uninvited guests out of your home.
The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and it’s time for summer cookouts and hours spent outside. Before you spend the summer in your yard, make sure it is safe from stinging insects!
It’s important to inspect your property for stinging insects. Check the exterior of your business, home, shed, and garden for nests. Stinging insects, such as wasps and bees, can be found low in the ground, or up high in your attics and gutters. Wasps like to frequent your rafters and vents. Should you discover a nest, call us to help you remove it safely. Removal and treatment of these nests is best done early in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening.
In general, bees are full-bodied and appear to be fuzzy, it is this “fuzz” that helps them to collect and disseminate pollen. Bees will attack when afraid or provoked, but tend not to be aggressive.
Carpenter Bees resemble Bumble Bees, but they usually have a bare, shiny abdomen. These bees bore into wood, so they are commonly found on structures such as decks and fences. Carpenter bees can cause structural damage over time if not properly removed and treated for.
Ground bees are most active in early spring, though you can see them at other times of the year. These bees dig nests in the ground, often in bare patches. Their nests look like mounds of soil, similar to anthills with a larger opening.
Honeybees are not aggressive and are a vital part of our environment. If you have honeybees, please contact a beekeeper to assist you in safely removing them from your home:.
Wasps look different from bees: they have pointed lower abdomens and a narrow "waist," that separates the abdomen from the thorax. Wasps also have shiny, smooth skin and tend to be brightly colored. It is important to have a pest control technician out to assess and safely remove and treat for these pests.
Yellow Jackets build their nests in the ground and are highly aggressive. They are brightly colored, with black and yellow markings on their bodies.
Hornets are similar in appearance to yellow jackets, but tend to be more of a brown or red color. Their nests look like paper beehives, usually hanging in a tree or eaves of a house.
Paper Wasps are non-aggressive and typically only sting in self-defense. These wasps build their nests up high - these nests tend to have open combs and a stalk that anchors the nest to the structure it is on.
If you think you have stinging insects near or in your home, give us a call for a free estimate today.
Pest Czar, a top-rated, family-owned pest control company in Baltimore, is now GreenPro certified by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Companies earn this prestigious certification by adhering to strict environmentally friendly standards and creating green policies and protocols to conduct business. Pest Czar is also certified by the Maryland Green Registry and previously earned the QualityPro certification by the NPMA, which ensures the business is following best industry practices in categories such as hiring, training, safety, and insurance coverage.
Along with becoming GreenPro certified, Pest Czar has moved into a new office at 1502 East Joppa Road in Towson, Maryland. The location was strategically chosen as a convenient headquarters near Pest Czar’s customers and employees, reducing drive time and gas usage. As the business continues to expand, Co-Owners Sasa and Erika Milenkovic will train all employees using GreenPro and QualityPro protocols so that technicians and administrative staff will have the skills and knowledge to deliver excellent results to customers. With three office staff and four technicians, customers know that they are getting personalized service that only a small business can provide.
Winter is here, we’ve turned up our thermostats, and we’ve all nestled in for the season… and so have the pests. While we’ve mostly said goodbye to many pests, such as wasps, ants, and termites, there are still plenty of pests to watch for. It’s cold outside, and these common wintertime pests are looking for the warmth that your home provides:
Mice and Rats
A common problem for Baltimore residents any time of year, these rodents are particularly persistent in the winter months when they find their way inside for warmth, shelter, food, and water.
Roaches continue to be a problem for many throughout the winter months. They love “people food”, so they can stay in kitchens and other dining areas as an unwelcome house guest as long as there is food and water available to them.
Always a difficult pest, bed bugs depend on human blood for food, so they are happy to come to live with you in your home. These pests are not likely to leave or die off on their own, so professional help is required to get rid of them.
Squirrels, raccoons, and birds can wreak havoc on homes in the winter time, often finding shelter in attics and crawlspaces. These pests can carry diseases, so it is best to get a handle on any wildlife issues are quickly as possible.
With many winter months still ahead of us, plenty of people are dealing with pests in their homes and businesses. Call us for a free inspection.
The leaves are changing, the air is becoming crisp, the days are getting shorter, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back... Autumn is here - and unfortunately, so are pests. It is important to protect your homes and businesses during the fall from pests and from the coming winter months.
Pests to Keep an Eye on this Fall:
Can You Beelieve it?
September is National Honey Month! While wasps, yellow jackets, and carpenter bees are pests that pose significant health and structural threats, honeybees are an extremely important part of our ecosystem. Here are some amazing facts about honeybees:
- Honeybees are pollinators, visiting 50 - 100 flowers during a single collection trip
- Only worker bees sting and are unlikely to unless they feel threatened
- Honeybees communicate through dancing, where they tell each other distance, angles in relation to the sun, and time. (Find out more here: http://insects.about.com/od/antsbeeswasps/p/honeybeecommun.htm )
- At it’s peak, a hive can contain up to 60,000 bees!
- They are the only insect that produces food eaten by man (and it’s delicious!)
Unfortunately, in recent years, the honeybee populations around the world have been declining. While scientists attempt to figure out all of the factors contributing to this decline, we can do our part to insure that honeybees are kept safe. Pest Czar does not remove honeybee swarms or hives, but there are many beekeepers (or, “beeks” as they like to call themselves) who are willing to safely and effectively remove and relocate a hive for you. You can find one of these beeks here: http://www.centralmarylandbees.org/
If you are experiencing any issues with wasps, carpenter bees, or yellow jackets, give us a call!
Share your favorite bee-related fact in the comments.
This year the groundhog predicted an early spring, but it's been quite wintry here the past couple of months. Sometimes people ask us, what pests are most common in the winter? While many insects like wasps, ants, and termites are basically in hibernation or dormant during the colder months, there are still plenty of resilient pests that stay active all year long.
In Maryland, mice and rats are a common problem for residents any time of year, but particularly in the winter, rodents will find their way inside a home for warmth, shelter, food and water.
Cockroaches are another hearty pest that continue to be a problem for many people throughout the colder months. Because they like "people food" so much, they can stay in a kitchen as an unwanted guests as long as there is a food and water source available.
Bed bugs are always difficult because they depend on human blood for food, so they are happy to stay inside a home literally as snug as a bug in a rug. They are unlikely to leave or die off on their own, so a professional help is required to get rid of them.
Wildlife such as squirrels and raccoons can also wreak havoc on homeowners in the winter, often getting into attics and crawlspaces.
For now, winter is still with us, and plenty of people are dealing with pests in their homes. Call us for a free inspection.