News


10/12/2010

HOMEOWNERS BEWARE OF FURY FALL INTRUDERS Arrow Exterminators Warns Homeowners of Increased Wildlife Activity in the Fall

As the cooler fall weather moves in, homeowners across the country are heading indoors to a warm, cozy environment, filled with home-cooked meals on the stove and football on the television. Unfortunately, as temperatures start to drop, wildlife such as squirrels, rodents, raccoons, chipmunks and bats seek these same comforts. Telltale signs of a fall intruder include noises in the attic or droppings found in pantries, along baseboards and/or in attics. To ensure the only visitors this fall are family and friends, Arrow Exterminators offers homeowners fall wildlife prevention tips.

"In the fall, we typically notice an increase in calls related to wildlife such as squirrels, raccoons and evidence of bats in the attic," said Arrow Pest Expert Shay Runion. "These animals are in search of the same things humans need to survive: food, shelter and warmth. Oftentimes, your home is the perfect destination."

Squirrels and rodents are frequent fall intruders. As the temperature begins to cool at night, these pests are on the prowl for shelter, looking for locations to build their nests. Unfortunately, squirrels and rodents often find their winter dwelling space in homes, particularly in attics, exterior walls and even between floors, using insulation as nesting material. They can cause serious damage to the structure where they nest and even electrical fires when chewing their way through wires, plastic and wood to find food and shelter. Their waste can cause allergic reactions in humans and may even lead to diseases, including Hantavirus, which is potentially deadly. Lastly, these pests rarely travel alone, bringing in fleas and other unwanted pests.

Another common wildlife pest is the raccoon. While they are mostly nocturnal in nature, raccoons will hunt for food during the day, using their very adept hands to open garbage cans, remove siding and tear off shingles. Like squirrels and rodents, they too are in search of shelter and often choose crawl spaces, attics and chimneys in homes to build their nests. An extremely dangerous pest, raccoons can also cause significant damage where they nest and also infest living spaces with fleas and parasites.

Homeowners should also be aware of chipmunks this fall. These small pests are active in the morning and late-afternoon, burring tunnels for storing their food, caring for their young or resting. Found adjacent to or under sidewalks, steps, concrete patios and retaining walls, these tunnels can weaken the structure of a home and even cause flooding. They also can cause damage to flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Last, but not least, homeowners should be on the lookout for evidence of bats in their attic. Not only can they spread diseases, such as rabies, their droppings can also emit a strong odor. Since bats can fit through spaces as small as half an inch, they often find their way inside through rooflines, chimneys, gables or vents - making attics a prime location to nest.

To prevent wildlife from entering the home this fall, Arrow Exterminators recommends taking the following proactive wildlife control measures:

  • Use plastic boxes and containers with seal tight lids for storage, keep off the floor and organize items to prevent wildlife from residing in undisturbed areas;
  • Seal cracks and holes, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home;
  • Clean up spilled food and immediately wash dishes and cooking utensils after use;
  • Keep outside cooking areas and grills clean;
  • Keep bird feeders away from the house and use squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder;
  • Do not leave pet food or water bowls out overnight; and
  • Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can with a tight lid - and keep it sealed at all times.

Arrow protects homes from wildlife infestations with the STEPSâ„¢ Total Protection System, an industry-leading process that utilizes Integrated Pest Management. STEPS includes a full inspection of the home and property to pinpoint pest control issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and to help prevent future recurrences.