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.
In short - yes!
HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?
Most of the people in the U.S. affected by the Zika virus have contracted the virus by traveling to South American and Central American countries. This virus is predominately being spread by mosquitoes. Human cases have been reported in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Texas. The latest case in Texas shows that it is not even necessary for mosquitoes to bite a human in order for this terrible disease to spread.
WHY IS IT SERIOUS?
Zika virus is considered a global health emergency at this point. What we know about the virus so far is that it’s a mild, short-lasting virus. Some people can have the virus and not even realize it, or not get very sick at all. What’s difficult about some of the Zika virus symptoms is that they can seem like another virus or illness but is also linked to an alarming spike in babies born with abnormally small heads. There are number of countries recommending their pregnant women not to travel to countries with reported virus issues. There are currently no approved vaccines or medicine to help combat this pathogen.
COULD ZIKA VIRUS APPEAR IN MARYLAND?
We can't speculate on the virus and it's potential to spread but it is important to know that this virus can be spread by both Aedes aegypti and the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) commonly found in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP PREVENT THIS VIRUS?
Pest Czar is monitoring the situation closely and will try to help educate the public about mosquito prevention, mosquito protection and mosquito treatment. Here are some basic things you can do to minimize mosquito exposure and help battle this major world disease outbreak:
While most of us are thrilled to see warmer weather is here, springtime gives many pests the climate they need to thrive. Ants are some of the first insects to appear this season, but soon bees, wasps, spiders, crickets, mites and beetles will be popping up too. Pests can create problems for business owners and home owners alike, and should be dealt with swiftly to prevent the issue from worsening.
Before the official start of spring, we already received numerous calls for ants and even a few for stinging insects. Now is the time to prevent pest invasions before they get out of control.
Inspect your property for stinging insects: Check the exterior of your business, home, shed and garden for wasp and bee nests. Stinging insect nests can be found low in the ground or high in your attics or gutters. Rafters and vents are very common places for wasps. If you discover a nest, call a pest control company to remove it safely. Nest treatment and removal is best done early in the morning or later at night.
Look for cracks and crevices: Cracks and holes along the foundation or windows of a building are common entry points for pests. Ants are especially good at finding ways in and can become a real problem once they find a way into your property. Seal any cracks you find.
Cut trees and shrubs from structures: Plants near your home or business can encourage insects to live closer to your structure and enter it more easily. Tall grass near a structure's foundation can provide shelter to insects that can eventually invade your property. Clear plants away from your property better prevent pests.
Maintain a clean kitchen and store food properly: Wipe kitchen surfaces, wash dishes, sweep and mop floors, and make sure your food containers are sealed tightly. Prompt cleaning and storage can go a long way, as crumbs and open containers are very attractive to pests. Pet food should also be stored properly and thrown away promptly if not eaten.
Use a tight fitting lid on trashcans: Discarded food will attract pests-make sure garbage is stored properly. Also pet waste should be thrown away immediately.
Move firewood away from buildings: Firewood can act as food or shelter to many insects, especially termites. Keep it away from your buildings and off the ground if possible.
As part of our Exterminator on a Mission community initiative, Pest Czar will donate 10% of our proceeds to the Stroup Kids for Kids Foundation when homeowners mention Tri to Help! Pest Czar will also donate a portion of any new commercial contracts that mention Tri to Help. Donations to the foundation will benefit those with epilepsy and seizure disorders,
Tri To Help is a national indoor triathlon that raises money for epilepsy research. The next Tri to Help events in Maryland will be held in Baltimore and Towson on February 28. Click here for more information and to register!
Yesterday we performed the perfect squirrel trapping job where we got a call from a customer and caught his squirrel in the same day. Here's a summary:
8:30am: A customer let us know they had a squirrel in the living room of his rental property. He had tried trapping it himself, but had no luck. He wanted help as soon as possible. We were able to send our pest expert Sasa there around 9am.
9am: Sasa inspected the property and found entrance points to the house. He gave recommendations on sealing them and also set up a live trap for the squirrel. There were several differences between the homeowner's trapping strategy and ours. First, our trap was bigger and therefore slightly more inviting. Second, our pest expert did not touch the bait (basically peanut butter and sesame seeds) with his bare hands. Touching bait for squirrels or other pests with your bare hands leaves a human scent on the food which can repel the animal. Third, our pest expert placed a little water in the trap since there didn't seem to be an easy source of water for the squirrel inside the home. Fourth, our pest expert placed the trap in a spot where the squirrel was more likely to enter it.
10:30am: Sasa finished setting the trap and educating the customer on how to protect his home against squirrels. Sasa let the customer know he would return later that day to see if the squirrel had been caught.
6pm: Sasa returned to find the squirrel inside the trap. He carried the trap out of the house and released the squirrel safely 5 miles away.
And that's how you perform the perfect squirrel trapping job.