Top 9 Pest Control Regulations Tips for Restaurants

Pest Control Regulations for Restaurants (9 Tips to Avoid Problems)

Pest Control Regulations For Restaurants 

As a business owner that deals with food, the safety and satisfaction of your customers and employees should be top priority; that means keeping your restaurant pest-free.

A pest invasion not only creates a problem financially, but it could mean difficulty with the US Food and Drug Administration. The best way to avoid a business-crushing pest control issue and to keep your customers coming is to have a plan of action in place. The best strategy to keep your business running and the consumers safe is prevention.

Here are the top nine pest control regulation tips to avoid or put a stop to a pest problem in your restaurant.  

Top 9 Pest Control Regulations Tips for Restaurants#1 - Keep Track of Your Problem Areas

Pests can invade from just about anywhere, but the best way to combat a problem is to notice where they are living or coming from. Depending on the type of creature, their safe haven can be a number of different places. Insects are drawn to the warmth of lighting. Be careful about where you place your lighting, especially if you have an outdoor dining area.

Additionally, dumpsters are like a smorgasbord for pests like mice, rats, or wildlife. They should be located away from the building and be shut tight to avoid any scavenging.  

Of course, pests don’t have to be attracted to lighting or your trash; they could just mosey through the front door. Any opening can be a problem: windows, doors, vents, etc. Be sure the gaps are sealed, floors are clean, and all entry ways are closed when not being used.

#2 - Pristine Interior

To control pests inside, it is important to take the steps necessary to keep your restaurant clean. The dining area should be cleaned daily and any food residue should be removed. This also extends to food prep and cleaning stations. Additionally, no food should be left standing in the kitchen, food prep, or open in storage areas.

Trash cans and bins should have liners and a tight-fitting top. These receptacles should be emptied daily to remove any possible pest hot spots from your property. Floor drains can also be an issue if not cleaned properly. The best way to keep pests out is to make sure you are doing your part to follow the FDA's HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles.  

#3 - Know Your Enemy

If you discover you have an insect or rodent problem, the next steps you take should be identifying the culprit. Your plan is dependent on the type of infestation. A rodent problem can be dangerous. Not only do customers experience repulsion, but they can contract diseases like Salmonella, Listeria, or E. Coli. Rodent droppings can be hazardous and they can do major damage to your property.

Insects like cockroaches and flies can spread diseases, contaminate food, and create major problems as well. Once you identify your pest problem, you can take the steps to fix it. Keep in mind, not all pests will be found out in the open.

#4 - Check Your Storage

As a restaurant purveyor, it is imperative to check and clean your storage regularly. Routinely inspect your storage bins and throw out anything past the expiration date. Old or poorly kept food can attract all manner of insects, such as beetles, weevils, moths, and mites.

The storage area is also a breeding ground for bacteria, especially near refrigeration units. Anything that may be infested could risk cross contamination with good food in your storage. Be vigilant and check your storage often.

#5 - Monitor Areas

It isn’t enough just to check these problem areas once or twice a year. Pest control can get out of hand very quickly. The best action is preventative action. Make it a point to check the problem areas to see what needs updating and to be sure everything is clean. Additionally, you want to be sure everything is up to code in case of a surprise inspection.

If you’ve had previous infestations, come back to those areas more frequently to ensure that the problem has been taken care of. If you want to remain pest free, the bottom line is that you must take action.

#6 - Survey the Damage

If you do discover a pest problem, do not hesitate. Act quickly; a pest problem in the food service industry can mean ruin should the health department find out before you do. What kind of pest problem do you have? How large is it?  Determine the size of the problem, contact a pest control specialist, and remove all contaminated food. You can’t be too careful when handling pest problems.

Top 9 Pest Control Regulations Tips for Restaurants
Keeping things pristine is key to restaurant pest control

#7 - Build a Plan of Action

Depending on the infestation, have a plan of action to respond in an efficient manner. Remove all contaminated food and sanitize affected areas. If pesticides are needed, be sure to follow the rules and regulations. Have a trained official handle the poisonous materials and keep them away from any area that may be near food. If needed, contact a pest control specialist to handle the matter. It is best to deal with pest complaints and reports quickly.

#8 - Follow the Food Hygiene Law

If you are following the Food Hygiene laws, you should be able to avoid an infestation. Keep up with regulations involving food safety and take preventative measures against cross contamination. Essentially, keep areas clean, monitor all activity, and be sure all employees are properly trained on food storage and safety.

#9 - HACCP and Food Safety Legislation

The best defense against a pest problem is prevention and knowledge. Keep up to date on the most recent rules and regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Food law requires that businesses follow the HACCP principles to ensure the people are safe. Make sure everything is clean and up to code, especially when handling any food and storage. Above all else, remain vigilant. Follow these tips and you can keep your business safe, clean, and running pest free.

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.

Termite Pest Control | Top 15 Things You Should Know

Termite Pest Control | Top 15 Things You Should Know

Termite Pest Control Inspection

Pests can be very troublesome when they invade your home, but none is more destructive than the termite.

Termites come in many types and are known to cause crippling amounts of damage as they literally eat you out of house and home. While these invaders can cause catastrophic amounts of damage, it can be difficult to spot a problem on your property.

Here are the top 15 things you should know about termites.

Termite Pest Control | Top 15 Things You Should Know

#1 - There are three main types of termites living in the United States.

The US is populated by three main termite types: Subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. Depending on what region you live on, these termites can infest your home.

The most common termite is the most destructive of the three: The Subterranean termite. They move up from the soil below your home.

Drywood termites tend to come from above in wooden structures. The least destructive of the three is the dampwood termite. These pests do not build nests in soil. Also, they mainly feed on decaying or wet wood.

#2 - Blistering or hollow wood are two main signs of termite infestation.

Termite damage can visible or audible. Termites can cause wood surfaces to blister, or they can leave wood hollow. The physical damage can very apparent and may look very similar to water damage.

Additionally, termite infested wood will have a hollow sound. Termites will damage any wooden surface in on your home from cabinets and furniture to ceilings and floors. Also, pay attention to your outer structures like window panes, siding, and porches.

#3 - Evidence of swarms can indicate a termite problem.

A clear indicator of a termite problem is evidence of swarms. If you discover piles of discarded wings, it's possible you may have an issue. Additional evidence includes finding black or brown dead termites. These swarms usually occur after rain or when the weather is cloudy.

#4 - Mud Tubes can indicate the presence of Termites.

Termites need to maintain moisture when they venture out to feed. They often create mud tubes on outer or inner walls and they are about the width of a drinking straw. If you spot these muddy structures, follow them; they connect termites to their food source.

Read: Look for these Five Qualities in Termite Control Services

#5 - Drywood termites leave droppings.

Drywood termites normally nest in hard, dry wood. When they consume wood, they leave droppings behind in mounds. These fecal pellets often resemble sawdust or coffee grounds. Additionally, termite infested areas tend to have a mildew or mold scent.

#6 - Termites are in all states except Alaska.

Termites are mostly a hot-weather pest. They cannot stand cold temperatures. This doesn’t mean that your home is safe during the winter, however, as these pests venture indoors during the winter months.

#7 - Termites constantly feed.

Termites must constantly feed to keep their colony prospering. They eat 24/7 which can often result in billions of dollars of damage every year. It's imperative to catch a termite problem immediately to avoid costly repairs.

#8 - Termites are social insects.

Social insects, termites live in colonies. If you spot one of these insects, odds are there are many more you haven’t seen. They live in well-organized colonies with a queen, workers, and warriors. These pests can consume more than 100 lbs of wood in one year.

#9 - Termites can fit in cracks as thin as 1/32 of an inch.

Termites do not need much space to slip into your home. They can fit through slits no thicker than a piece of paper. If you do not take care of your foundation or home’s exterior, termites can sneak in very easily.

#10 - Subterranean Termites are the most common in the US.

Subterranean termites are known to cause the most damage of all the termite species. They nest in the soil below homes and travel up. They can often find their way in through cracks, vents, and other open areas.

#11 - Formosan Termites are coastal termites.

Another type of subterranean termite, these creatures come up through the ground and can cause more damage. They are known for traveling through mud tubes and are attracted to places with high moisture.

termite damage to wood inspection tips

#12 - Drywood termites do not nest in soil.

These pests nest in hard, clean wood. Any type of dry lumber they have access to makes a good home. They can infest any wooden structure inside or outside of your house.

#13 - Termites will keep coming back if you do not protect against them.

Treatment alone will not keep termites away permanently. While treatments could be effective for a short time, the only sure way to keep these bugs out is by properly fortifying your home. Block all entry points, inspect your house regularly, and you will avoid any future infestations.

#14 - Termites cause up to $5 billion in damage each year.

These very small, hard-to-spot pests can have a severe effect on your home. Since it’s difficult to detect a termite problem, they can end up causing much more damage. Each year, termites can cause up to $5 billion dollars in damage, and often, insurance won’t foot the bill.

#15 - Sometimes the only way to find a termite problem is by scheduling an inspection.

While swarms, hollow wood, and mud tubes are good indicators of an infestation, termites tend to remain hidden until the problem gets out of hand. Professional pest control specialists are knowledgeable about termite habits, living spaces, life cycles, and building methods. If you suspect you may have termites, the best way to be sure is to schedule an appointment.

Don’t wait until it's too late. Contact The Pest Rangers for an inspection to take control of your termite problem.

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.

Christmas Tree Bugs - Spotted Lanternfly

Christmas Tree Bugs: Beware the Spotted Lanternfly

Christmas Tree Bugs

‘Tis the season for decorating and seasonal magic, but be careful if you are trying to recapture that traditional Christmas Spirit with a real pine tree. You may be inviting more than grandma over for the holidays.

Every year, families from all over bring living Christmas trees into their homes to decorate, but often, they contain creepy, crawly surprises.

While most of these insects are common, there is one that can cause serious damage and may be lurking here in Northeast Pennsylvania - the Spotted Lanternfly.

Before cutting down that tree or buying one from a tree farm, here are some pests to be aware of this season.

Christmas Tree Bugs - Spotted Lanternfly
The Spotted Lanternfly

Christmas Tree Bug Stowaways

As we pick out the perfect Christmas tree, sometimes we forget where we are taking it from: nature. Sometimes instead of just the overwhelming pine or citrus scent, we end up with a few other unwanted surprises.

  • Aphids
  • Spiders and mites
  • Adlegids
  • Pine Needle Scale
  • Sawflies
  • Bark beetles
  • Praying mantises

Many of these insects are more of a nuisance than harmful. They tend to nest and house themselves in the branches and lay their eggs. While these activities are fine for the outdoors, it could prove quite a scare in your household.

In addition to bringing home hidden bugs, you may find a feathered friend in the branches as well. Be sure to inspect your tree before bringing it into your home. If not, you may end up bringing in invasive species.

Beware The Spotted Lanternfly in Northeast Pennsylvania
Spotted Lanternfly

Beware the Spotted Lanternfly

Recently, in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, this invasive insect has been causing destruction, and it may possibly be headed to Luzerne or Lackawanna County. The Spotted Lanternfly is a tree-killing insect, though it is not limited to just trees.

Native to Asia, this invasive bug has already made its way through the eastern parts of the Keystone State. They prey on crops and trees, including pines.

Hitchhikers by nature, they attach to Christmas trees, plants, or other greenery to lay their eggs and multiply. Initially, they are difficult to spot, but are unmistakable once seen; they have the appearance of a bumble-bee with butterfly wings. Spotted Lanternflies have a yellow abdomen with black bands and spotted wings. They will cling to branches and lay two egg masses, yielding between 30-50 eggs.

While these pests cannot harm people or pets, they can prove devastating to our agriculture.

What Damage can Spotted Lanternflies do?

Spotted Lanternflies, or lycorma delicatula, feed on the sap of their host plants and encourage fungal growth. When they find a host, the adults lay their eggs in the fall and they breed on the plants. These large egg masses are grey in color and can be found on the tree or on nearby smooth surfaces. Throughout their life stages, these insects can kill large pine trees, vineyard grapes, fruit trees, and other essential plants.

Spotted Lanternfly on trees in PA
The Spotted Lanternfly can reproduce quickly

Removing Spotted Lanternflies

It is important to physically remove the life stages and the host trees. This includes adults, eggs, and the immature stages of the Spotted Lanternfly life cycle. The Penn State Extension of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has a homeowner management plan to assist in controlling the spread.

You can also contact a pest control specialist to help quarantine the area. If you are purchasing a Christmas tree, or any other tree or plant, inspect them thoroughly. Additionally, inspect any outdoor items before bringing them inside. Familiarize yourself with what these insects look like in order to report and destroy them properly.

Avoiding Christmas Stowaways

Plants with a Spotted Lanternfly infestation will have weeping wounds. They will have a greyish-black trail along the trunk of the tree and it will attract other bugs to eat. Adults will lay their eggs on the host or nearby.

These grey mud-like masses will dry and crack over time. To properly dispose of the egg masses, scrape them off and double bag them. You can also put them in alcohol or hand sanitizer. Most importantly, report all sightings.

Protect Against Additional Insects

When selecting trees, be sure to examine the branches for any stowaways. Prune the branches and make any additional adjustments before bringing it inside. You may want to leave your tree in a garage or other area for a few days. You can also try to shake out the insects over a white sheet or vacuum any insects up.

Should any of these critters continue to cause a problem, consult a pest professional. The holidays can be stressful enough without extra visitors. Take the time to examine your tree and keep your home pest free!

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.

Winter Pest Control Cockroach The Pest Rangers

What Pests Come Out in Winter: 15 Sneaky Cold-Weather Intruders

15 Winter Pests

As warm weather fades into colder, darker days, we aren’t the only ones preparing for the upcoming winter. The cooler months may be nearly pest free outdoors, but that won’t stop intruders from invading your home.

When the weather outside is frigid, many pests search for a place to wait out the winter and the idyllic place to hide is in your basement or attic. If you want to protect your property from unwanted guests, here are 15 sneaky pests to look out for this winter.

#1 - Watch for Termites

Termites are more than just a hot-weather pest. These little pests can swarm and reproduce until February. Social insects, termites live in colonies that could cause severe property damage. They can often find spots within wood piles, leaves, and other outdoor refuse. To avoid this pest, keep yard waste to a minimum and seal any small entry points to avoid an infestation.

Winter Pest Control rats The Pest Rangers#2 - Norway Rats

These invaders often slip into your home looking for a warm place to seek shelter. They tend to make nests in basements, debris, and other dark areas. Norway rats can fit through openings as small as a ½ inch and are known to gnaw in anything. Aside from the damage they can cause, these pests also carry diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever, or cowpox. Protect against these pests by sealing up any potential entry points and keeping a look-out for droppings or other signs.

#3 - Nuisance Bedbugs

Bed bugs can be an issue regardless of the time of year. They can hitchhike at any point. Additionally, the ideal time to take a vacation is during the cold-weather months, making the probability of encountering these insects much higher. If you are planning a winter getaway, be sure to inspect your hotel room for possible bed bugs. Also, examine your luggage and clothes before returning to your home to prevent an infestation by any potential stowaways.

#4 - Wildlife

Pests aren’t just an indoors problem. Occasionally, creatures can damage when searching for food and shelter to escape the harsh weather. Wildlife like raccoons or possums can wind up inside homes through open doors, chimneys, or they may hide out under your porch. While these animals are trying to wait out the winter, they can chew through insulation, wires, or die in an out-of-reach area. To prevent any unwanted tenants, keep all trash covered and seal up any openings below porches, in garages, or anywhere wildlife may slip in.

#5 - Ant Infestation

Pesky ants can sneak into homes through cracks and holes looking for food. Often found in flowers or other outdoor items we bring in for the winter, these insects can raid your pantry. Like termites, ants are a colony insect. If you spot one, there are probably many more searching for sustenance for their large family. If you should encounter these little invaders, watch for their entry point. This will make it easier to get rid of them.

Winter Pest Control Ants The Pest Rangers#6 - Beetles

Considered an overwinter pest, beetles look for warmth during the colder months. They will search for any access point: windows, vents, cracks, chimneys and many other openings. Any warm place is a suitable home for the winter for beetles, and normally they will head to the warmest point of the house. While they will not cause any severe damage, they can be a nuisance because of their sheer numbers.

#7 - Ladybugs “Asian Lady Beetle”

Another overwinter invader is the ladybug. These cute little bugs can be a nuisance when they find safe harbor in your home. Like other beetles, these insects will head to windows during the day or find light fixtures during the night trying to find places to stay warm. While not harmful, they can secrete a staining yellow fluid and they release a stench when squished.

#8 - Stink Bugs

These little bugs are much like lady bugs and beetles. They search for a warm place to survive the winter. Stink bugs mainly eat vegetation. They can often be found on corn stalks, pumpkins, or flowers. While not a harmful pest, these insects emit a terrible scent when crushed, as their name suggests, and can be a nuisance in your home.

#9 - Box Elders

These pests are common invaders during the fall and winter months. Box elders are much like stink bugs with a nasty twist. They emit an odor when squished, but in addition, they tend to bite. These bites are mildly irritating; all the more reason to keep them out of your home.

#10 - Cockroaches

These infamous pests cannot survive temps less than 15 degrees; they must stay indoors during the winter months. Often, these invaders will find crawl spaces, basements, or other dark areas to wait out the cold weather. Cockroaches are known to trigger allergies and spread bacteria.

Winter Pest Control Cockroach The Pest Rangers#11 - Spiders

While the typical house spider will invade your home during any time of year, during the winter, more dangerous spiders could seek refuge indoors. Though they are less active during the winter months, spiders do head to warmer places during the cold weather. Spiders like the brown recluse and the black widow will hide out in dark, low-traffic places like basements, cardboard storage boxes, and window moldings.

#12 - Silverfish

These household pests can be around during any season, but they are most prominent during winter months. They like cold, damp places with high humidity. While they are scarier to look at than harmful, one female can produce over 3,500 eggs. Silverfish can come in the house in several ways. They often hide out on outdoor decorations, slip through cracks, and hide away in attics and basements.

#13 - Ticks

Though certain ticks may not be active during the cold months, others will remain if the temperature is above freezing, like the black-legged tick. In the winter, we tend to let our guard down regarding ticks considering the cold and the fact that we are more bundles. These parasites can still find ways to latch on you and your pets, even in the winter.

#14 - Aphids

Though not harmful, aphids can be quite the household nuisance. They often stowaway in plants or greenery that are transferred inside during the winter. This can damage any other household plants that you may have.

#15 - House Mice

House mice can slip through small openings the size of a dime. They nest in dark, secluded areas and can become a big problem very fast. These pests can damage property by chewing through drywall or wires, and they can cause illness by contaminating food. The best way to combat these little intruders is by sealing up any potential openings.

Keep your home pest free this winter by fortifying against these sneaky intruders. Don’t wait until it's too late. Protect your home by contacting The Pest Rangers below!

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.

Termite Exterminator to rid pest

Termite Exterminator | Seek These Top 5 Qualities

Termite Exterminator Tips

Pests can be a major problem for your home, especially if you don’t know how to properly dispose of them. One of the most destructive invaders is the termite. These pesky little insects can find their way into your home and quickly destroy beams, walls, floors and furniture.

The problem with these sneaky intruders is that they are hard to detect. If you suspect that you may have a termite problem or want to be sure you are protected against them, the best way to go about it is to consult a pest professional.

With so many different exterminators, it could be difficult finding one who meets your quality standards and doesn’t break the bank. If you are looking to hire a pest control expert to protect your home from termite infestations, here are the top 5 qualities to look for.

Termite Exterminator to rid pest
Termites destroy non-stop

#1 - Termite Knowledge

An exterminator should have a thorough knowledge of his craft; this means knowing all there is to know about pests like termites. There are many different termites: Drywood, Dampwood, Formosan, Subterranean, Conehead, and Desert just to name a few.

Each type has a unique nesting pattern, preferred food source, and life cycle. The key is identifying your infestation properly to provide your home with the best treatment. When it comes to treating your house, knowledge is power.

#2 - Service and Recommendations

A pest control expert should not only be knowledgeable, but they should be well-known for impeccable service. Cleansing your home is a process and it should be as painless as possible. A good termite exterminator will inspect your home thoroughly before drawing up a treatment plan.

A good exterminator will have clear pricing, be up-front about the cost, and give full explanations of their treatment options. A termite home invasion is stressful enough; a good service will take the guesswork out of the bottom line.

#3 - Spot and Treat an Infestation

A quality pest control expert will be able to pinpoint possible areas of infestation and any entry spots that your home may have. If you have a possible infestation the right exterminator will give your home a thorough investigation assessing areas like cracks in the cement, walls, floors, attics and even furniture. Before any treatments can be done, your property must have an inspection; termites can be difficult to spot by the untrained eye. There are several signs that may indicate that your home has a termite infestation:

  • Mud-like tunnel: Termites use these to keep moisturized when searching for food.
  • Termite wings: These are left behind after termites swarm.
  • Termite droppings, or frass: Wood-colored fecal matter
  • Swarmers or flying termites

It can be very difficult to spot an infestation; wings may be your only visible sign. A qualified exterminator will be able to discover a pest problem and take the next steps in fortifying your home.

Termite Exterminator | Seek These Top 5 Qualities
Termites can devastate woods quickly

#4 - Know Different Treatment Options

There are multiple ways an exterminator can treat your home. Depending on what you are looking for, it is a good idea to find a pest control specialist who will provide many options.

  • Termiticide: If you are looking for a way to kill and deter termites, liquid termiticide is a liquid-barrier treatment for the job. Unfortunately, like any termite treatment, it can become very costly.
  • Termite Bait: This tactic tricks the pests into taking ‘bait’ home to the colony and killing it at the source gradually. Used with a combination of other treatments, it could be very effective.
  • Heat treatment: This is a chemical-free treatment that can take only a few hours. Though this treatment doesn’t use harsh chemicals, it may damage heat sensitive items in your home. (note - this is not a procedure completed in the Northeastern area)
  • Fumigation: Toxins are released to kill termites. Your family and pets must vacate during this treatment. This is effective, but it takes much longer to vent your home. (note - this is not a procedure completed in the Northeastern area)

When selecting your pest control expert, be sure to choose one with a treatment method in mind.

#5 - Fortify and Protect Your Home

Unfortunately, no termite treatment is permanent. It is possible for these pests to return after taking the proper treatment steps, but don’t fear!

A quality exterminator will provide you with the tips you need to prevent future invasions and be there to help should one occur. The best way to protect your home is to stop an infestation from happening. You can by taking a few extra steps.

  • Keep your yard clean of wood, debris, and yard waste
  • Clear away mulch
  • Trim your greenery
  • Repair any holes, leaky faucets, or cracks
  • Keep vents dry
  • Cover soil in crawl spaces
  • Monitor your home

With these tips and a helpful pest control expert, your home will be safe from any invaders.

Keeping Termites Out!

The best way to deal with a termite invasion is to stop it from happening. Should you run into trouble, having a quality termite exterminator can help ease the stress. There’s no better way to fortify your home. Contact The Pest Rangers today if you need help with your termite extermination.

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.


Bat Pest Control | Top 7 Things You Should Know

Bat Pest Control | Top 7 Things You Should Know

Bat Pest Control

Bats, the only mammal capable of flight, are a crucial part of our ecosystem. Living exterminators, these flying critters are responsible for controlling pests like mosquitoes from getting out of hand.

Regardless of how useful they are, these creatures have a bad reputation of being associated with the supernatural, and often have been referred to as “flying rats.”

Unfortunately, while bats are critical for pest control in the ecosystem, they can cause a lot of damage as nuisance wildlife themselves. If you have a bat infestation, here are the top seven things you should know about bats and removal.

Bat control in northeastern Pennsylvania#1 - There are several different bat species.

There are multiple bat species that could inhabit your home; each have different habits and habitats. In North America, the following species are most common.

Big Brown Bats: These bats are mid-sized mammals that are dark in color. They feed on insects, and roost in any high point they can find. You can find them in your eaves, attics, and other high places during the day and hunting at night. They are common nesters during the winter months and can travel alone or in groups.

Little Brown Bats: These little creatures are only about three inches. They can hide in small spaces in the warmer months and seek shelter when they hibernate. Their favorite delicacy includes small, soft-bodied insects, or bugs near slow-moving water.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats: These bats live in the southeast and west near the coast. They are tiny, about three inches, and are mostly tail. These wild animals tend to live in big colonies and seek shelter in cave or cave-like areas.

Red Bats: These nocturnal hunters are medium in size and are found in the western part of the US. As their name indicates, they have red fur, and they eat numerous beetles, moths, and other insects. These bats tend to burrow rather than roost.

California Myotis: This tiny bat species can be seen just at dusk or dawn feasting on flying insects. Pale in color, these flying mammals tend to hide away in dark, quiet places.

#2 - Bats can often roost in homes.

Many bats like to roost in high or dark places, which could include many spots in a home. They often find their way underneath eaves and hide away in attics. They can make homes in chimneys, find open spots in roofs, or slip through small holes.

Often, a loose bat can get stuck in your home, through a crack or hole, causing stress for both you and the bat. While they don’t intentionally wish to cause harm, bats can cause a lot of problems for homeowners.

#3 - Bats can damage your property.

Bats can cause property damage in many ways. Bat droppings can leave grease stains on siding, and often come with a strong, offensive odor.

Their fecal matter can contain a fungus known as histoplasmosis, and their urine can leave a terrible, lingering stench in your home. Bats can swarm outside your home depending on the size of the colony.

Additionally, should bats reside or get trapped inside your home, they can become ill, injured, or die in the nooks and crannies.

Pest Issues? Contact The Pest Rangers Today.

#4 - Bats can carry diseases and parasites.

In addition to property damage, a bat infestation could be dangerous to your health. Bats can carry rabies, which can be transmitted to other animals and people through a bite. This is the most common disease bats carry and it can be fatal if untreated.

Another disease can be found in bat guano, or their fecal matter. Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by the droppings bats leave behind. A fungus grows in their fecal matter and it could lead to this serious illness that attacks the lungs.

Aside from deadly diseases, bats can leave parasites in your home. Bat mites and bat bugs are pests that look much like bed bugs. They have been known to bite humans and can be problematic, though not fatal.

#5 - With bat exclusion, timing is everything.

If you are looking to flush a bat infestation from your home, timing is everything. Bat exclusion is a tricky process; if done incorrectly, you can end up with more problems. It should be done after the young bats have had a chance to vacate and after the adults venture out to feed. If done too early or too late, your home could suffer more damage.

Fleeing bats could become trapped and die. Females could be separated from their young and could continuously try to re-enter your home. This process should be handled by a professional to ensure that the outcome is satisfactory for you and the wildlife.

Bat Pest Control | Top 7 Things You Should Know#6 - The best way to be rid of bats is to prevent them.

Of course, the best way to prevent nuisance wildlife from destroying your property is to keep them out to begin with. Seal up all cracks and access points that may allow bats in. Open sections should be covered by netting.

Make sure all roof repairs are done - leave no openings for bats to move in and plug up all holes. Bats are small creatures; they can slip through tiny cracks. It's important to fortify your home before they become a problem.

Additionally, you can remove any possible food source you may have around your home. Often, bats are attracted to mosquitoes; be sure to look for any mosquito breeding spots, like standing water. Make your home a less attractive option to roost.

#7 - Bats are very important for the environment.

Bats are considered a protected species in most states. Before you make any changes to your home, consult animal control or wildlife services to be sure the actions you take are the best for you and the bats.

Again, autumn is the most ideal time to fortify against bats. The best offense is a good defense; be vigilant in your home inspection and protect the common access points in your home. Bat repellents, though appealing, don’t have a long-term effect.

The only way to stop bats from coming back is to block their access. If you suspect that you have a bat infestation, contact our licensed pest control experts to assess the problem and protect your home from nuisance wildlife.

Top 25 sings of bed bugs

Don’t Let Them Bite: Top 25 Signs of Bed Bugs

Top 25 Signs of Bed Bugs

Creepy crawlies that skitter about in the night are enough to give anyone shivers. Bed bugs are serious pests that can not only destroy your property, but they can make an impact on your life.

These tiny insects - it takes three-to-four to cover just Lincoln's head on a penny - can be a major headache for anyone experiencing an infestation, and no matter where you live, it’s possible to encounter these little creatures.

If you are concerned that you may have a bed bug infestation or want to be sure one doesn’t get out of hand, here are the top 25 signs you might have bed bugs.

Bed Bugs small on a penny
How many bed bugs can fit on a penny?

#1 - You see bugs!

This should be the most obvious sign of a pest problem, but bed bugs are very small (between 5-7mm in length) and have several life stages making it difficult to pinpoint them. What’s worse is they could be just about anywhere.

#2 - You have recently encountered someone or a place that has reported bed bugs

While this is no guarantee that you will get bed bugs, if someone you know has had them or recently discovered they have had them, it’s a good idea to check around your own home to be sure you didn’t pick up a stow-away.

#3- Shells or molted skins

While living bugs can be elusive, they manage to leave behind a little present. Bed bugs shed their exoskeleton as they molt to the next stage. You will find these “leftovers” in cracks, under furniture, or anywhere they may be nesting.

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#4 - Fecal spots on bedding/mattress

Liquid fecal spots on your bedding is a sure sign of bed bugs. These small, liquid waste spots can be scattered across your bed depending on how often the bugs have fed.

#5 - Blood stains on your sheets/pajamas

If you are a host for a family of bed bugs, another sign would be blood stains. The primary diet for bed bugs is blood from humans or other warm-blooded animals. Seeing unexplained spots of blood on your sheets could be a warning flag.

#6 - Dark spots on the walls or upholstery

Sheets aren’t the only place for bed bugs to hide. These little creatures can easily slip behind your wall paper or into other enticing spots they can hide away during the day.

#7 - Multiple bug bites

Maybe it’s not mosquitos! If you find yourself waking up with multiple little red dots, it’s likely that you have bed bugs. The problem is, however, you may not actually feel the bed bug bite. The bites are painless, but they may cause you to have a reaction.

Top 25 sings of bed bugs
Bed Bugs are extremely small

#8 - Painful, swollen bumps with a dark center

If you aren’t 100% sure you have been bitten by a bed bug, one way to tell is by looking at the bite. They are often swollen with a dark center. In some cases, they can have a white center as well

#9 - Raised, red welts

Often, if you have bed bugs, you will have multiple bites. They often appear on your skin like a rash across a localized area. They are often raised and have the appearance of hives.

#10 - Burning and itching

While the initial bite may not hurt, bed bug bites tend to leave victims with a burning and itching sensation.

#11 - Fever, nausea, or a swollen tongue

Bed bug bites can cause a severe reaction in certain individuals. Coupled with the other signs of bed bug bites, such a reaction could be a sign of an infestation.

#12 - Marks on exposed skin

If you have rash-like patches, bites in a straight line, or burning hives on your exposed skin, you may have bed bugs. Depending on the clothing you wear to bed, bed bugs will latch on to exposed skin for an easy meal.

#13 - Not everyone displays symptoms; others have a strong reaction

It’s common for people to have different reactions to bed bug bites, even within the same household. Keep an eye on your skin, and the skin of small children, because it can be difficult to spot the sign without a reaction.

#14 - Uncomfortable nights

Another sign of a bed bug infestation is an uncomfortable night’s sleep. While you may not feel the bites, your body may react in response to any interaction with these pests. They are quick and often run across your bed at night to feed. While you may not be aware of the presence, your body may experience restlessness as a reaction.

#15 - Musty smell

Bed bugs have a particular smell. Much like the scent of a dirty, wet towel, where there is an infestation, there is often an overwhelming damp scent.

Bed Bugs signs on sheets
Signs of bed bugs on sheets

#16 - Rusty spots on the bedding

Much like seeing spots of blood, a common sign of bed bugs is in the rusty spots from expelling blood and fecal matter.

#17 - Flat, reddish bugs

If you do happen to see a bed bug, they are about 5-7mm in length and they are no bigger than a sunflower seed. These small oval bugs are so tiny they can fit almost anywhere and are so light it’s hard to tell when one is on you.

#18 - Bug exoskeletons or bodies

A sure sign of bed bugs is finding dead bodies throughout your house. These little creepers can find various spots to nest in your home, so don’t limit yourself to just the bedroom and mattress.

#19 - Egg shells or eggs

Bed bug egg shells are about 1mm and are a pale yellow. Like the exoskeletons or dead bodies, spotting eggs could mean you have a nasty infestation.

#20 - Shells in drawers

Much like your bedroom, it’s possible for bed bugs to house themselves in your clothing drawers. They can hide between the cracks, underneath, or even in the clothes themselves.

#21 - Spots near electrical receptacles and appliances

Another spot you may find black and rust colored spots is by electrical sockets. While it’s more common to find bed bugs in your mattress, it’s possible to find them just about anywhere in your home.

#22 - Box spring nightmare

If you have any bed bugs, the most likely spot you will find them is within your box spring. Bed bugs can squeeze themselves flat and fit in just about any little space.

#23 - The head of a screw

While the most obvious places may give you difficulty, consider this possibility: bed bugs in a screw head. Depending on the severity of the infestation, bed bugs can fit themselves in some of the strangest places.

#24 - Bites on your animals

If you have any warm-blooded animals, like cats or dogs, you may want to inspect them. Bed bugs don’t just bite humans!

#25 - Overall decrease in personal well-being

If you find yourself covered in welts, having a rough night sleep, and can’t stand the smell of your bedroom, it’s likely that your well-being is suffering. Not knowing the signs of a bed bug infestation can lead to poor quality of life.

Bed bugs are a pest that no one wants to encounter. If you see any signs that may indicate an infestation, take care of it as soon as possible. Your skin, pets, and furniture will thank you for it.

To learn more about our Bed Bug treatments, contact The Pest Rangers.

9 Fall Pest Control Tips: Prep for These 5 Major Pests

Fall Pest Control Tips

Fall is a time for colorful leaves, pumpkin spice, and haunted houses. It’s also the season for five major pests that can make life a real nightmare.

As the weather turns from warm to cool, little critters will be searching for a place to call home. Whether you are experiencing an influx of ladybugs, stink bugs, cluster flies, boxelders or rodents, battling an infestation can make any season miserable.

To avoid any pesky pest mishaps this autumn, here are a few pest management tips to help get you through the season.

#9 - Seal Cracks and Crevices

The first step to stopping pests is to keep them from getting in your home. You can do this by simply sealing any cracks or crevices on the outside of your house. Bugs and rodents can sneak in through small openings, so be careful to inspect siding and outer walls. By using caulk or steel wool, block up any potential openings on your home’s exterior.

Stinkbug infestation!

#8 - Keep Counters Clean

Open food on the counter is like an all you can eat buffet invitation to any would-be pest. The best way to prevent a pest problem is by storing food in airtight containers. Avoid leaving food out for long periods of time. Do you have a pet? This tip includes any pet food in bowls or in open bags.

#7 - Close Up Garbage

Like the inside of your home, you want to be sure any food source outside is sealed. Open garbage can be a breeding ground if not properly handled. Also, it can attract not only several fall pests, but also some additional, bigger creatures you may not want rummaging through your trash.

#6 - Keep Basements, Attics, and Crawl Spaces Vented and Dry

Moisture is a major attraction for pests. Some creatures thrive in a wet, moist environment making basements, garages, and attics especially vulnerable. Try installing a dehumidifier to control the amount of moisture and protect your home.

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#5 - Screen Open Vents

While cracks and small holes in your home’s exterior can be plugged up easily, often the less obvious entry ways are overlooked. Attic vents, chimneys, and pet doors can be like a welcome mat to pests. The best way to avoid any creature invasions is to put screens over any opening that cannot be sealed.

#4 - Inspect Incoming Packages

An easy, and often forgotten, way for critters to enter your humble abode is foreign objects: packages, grocery bags, outside decorations, yard equipment and more. The last thing on our mind when bringing in the groceries is pest control. Pests can often sneak inside using any of these and more. Be careful to inspect anything you bring in your home.

#3 - Keep Up with the Outdoors

Have a fire pit? Firewood is the ideal place for pests to nest. It’s a good idea to store any refuse, firewood, or any yard waste at least 20 feet from the house. Additionally, monitor your draining system. Pipes, open waterways, or gutters can easily bring a rodent or insect infestation. An easy way to prevent any pest problems is by keeping up with your outdoor maintenance.

Ladybug pest control tips
Though considered to be lucky, ladybugs infestations can provide much anxiety to home owners.

#2 - Make Repairs

 A simple way to protect your home from pests this fall is to perform yearly maintenance. Keep any cracks filled, install door sweeps, and repair damaged screens. Make sure that your windows are screened and cleaned, closing off yet another entry point. Any loose weather-stripping or mortar can provide pests access to your home. If you want to keep unwanted visitors out and keep your home warm, be sure you make the necessary repairs.

#1 - Watch for the Signs

Regardless of how vigilant you are, everyone is human, and it’s possible a pest can slip into your home. The best way to stay on top of an unwanted pest problem is recognizing the signs. Keep an eye out for droppings, signs of burrowing, or nests. If you see one stink bug, it doesn’t mean you have an infestation. However, if you see numerous stink bugs clustering near a window, you may have a problem and the source. Educate yourself on what to look for to avoid any larger problems.

Concluding Thoughts

Fall is a beautiful time of year, but the cold weather shift serves as a reminder to perform yearly maintenance to protect your home. Be vigilant and you can avoid any pest problems. The best way to combat an infestation is through prevention.

Contact The Pest Rangers today for a free consultation.

7 Facts & Myths About Small Rodents of Northeast Pennsylvania

7 Facts & Myths About Small Rodents of Northeast Pennsylvania

Northeast Pennsylvania: Facts & Myths About Small Rodents

Rodents. Why did it have to be rodents? One of the most dreaded household pests can inspire woe for anyone who catches a glimpse or hears the unmistakable scratching of a rat, mouse, or mole.

From the many horrible myths floating around about these destructive pests, people have some sketchy rodent control information that makes taking care of the problem more difficult.

Will mice only explore during the night? Would getting a cat work if a rat can match it in size? Can you snag those critters with a hunk of cheese?

Here are some myths and facts about mice and rats that can set the record straight.

Myth #1 - Rats can be a large as a house cat.

Fact - Norway rats can sometimes reach up to 1 pound and measure nearly 8 inches long; they are nowhere near the size of house cats, which are normally around 10-12 pounds.

These “big” rats are more than like confused with another rodent species. Since many rodents use a water source to travel, it’s may be that rats are confused for much bigger animals.

7 Facts & Myths About Small Rodents of Northeast Pennsylvania
Are cats a solution to mice?

Myth #2 - Cats will take care of a mouse problem.

Fact - A cat in a home may take care of your rodent problem, provided they are “mousers.” Not all cats are hunters, and not all hunters will hunt mice. Well-fed cats may not be bothered to hunt any whiskered intruders. Of course, some cats will hunt for fun and thrill, but some cats do not. It’s also rare for a cat to challenge a rat.

Myth #3 - Rats and mice can get through tiny holes because they are boneless.

Fact - Rats and mice have internal skeletons but have very flexible ribs allowing them to squeeze through the tiniest gaps. Rodents have more flexibility and lack a collarbone which makes getting into small places much easier. Quite simply, if they can get their head through it, they can bypass it.

Myth #4 - Rats and Mice are nocturnal, thus if you see one in daylight, there must be many of them!

Fact - Rats and mice are primarily nocturnal, but they always move about regardless if it is day or night. If you see one, it’s not necessarily a sign of a big infestation - it’s just much easier to see them in the daylight.

Mice will only explore when they feel safe or when they are hungry. Their senses are sharp and always alert for any potential threats. Additionally, they usually have their own routes where they can move around undetected. Also, they only sleep for a short period of time. Better signs of a major infestation include droppings, burrows, or actual property damage.

Myth #5 - The best bait to catch a mouse or rat is cheese.

 Fact - Though cartoon mice going after cheese are plentiful, it’s more likely that mice would enjoy grains, seeds, or fruits. Though a rodent may eat cheese, what they will go after is dependent on the species and how hungry they are. They tend to go after foods higher in fiber or fat. The ideal bait options for catching mice include fruit, grains, and peanut butter.

Myths and Facts about Rats and Rodents
If threatened, rats like this can become aggressive.

Myth #6 - Rats and mice aren’t aggressive creatures; they will not attack you.

Fact - Like any cornered animal, rats and mice will attack when threatened. They will likely go on the offensive if surprised or if they feel trapped. They can easily puncture skin with a bite that could cut nerves, strike bone, and cause infection.

Rats won’t necessarily only attack when cornered - they will even bite if they smell food. While rats don’t necessarily carry black plague, they can transmit some pretty nasty diseases including leptospirosis and rat-bite fever.

Myth #7 - Having rodents means a home is run-down or in poor condition. 

Fact - Though rodent control is needed in places with poor sanitation, they can be found just about anywhere. They move along water sources like streams and sewers, and they can invade anywhere they can find access. They require water to survive, like any other creature, and tend to stay near it. What they rely on is an adequate food source which can be just about anything: garbage, pet food, bird seed, or fruit trees.

Concluding Thoughts

The key to proper rodent control is knowing the facts. The key to effective pest control is to be proactive. Take steps to be sure your home is fortified against all manner of creatures and stay informed. The first step toward taking care of your problem is separating myth from fact.

The next step is to get them under control. Contact the pest professionals at The Pest Rangers today for a free consultation.