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Tips & Inspirations

Helpful Holiday Pest Prevention for People with Pets

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Holiday pest prevention may not be top of mind this time of year.  With family visiting, gifts to wrap and meals to cook it is easy to forget protecting your turf from pests.  But pests are persistent, and they would love nothing more than to get in on your holiday feast.

Holiday Pest Prevention - Rodent Destruction

The Importance of Holiday Pest Prevention for your Pets

Not only can pests ruin your meal, they present a health danger to your pets.  Mice alone can bring dangers like salmonella and hantavirus into your home.  Without a doubt, pests can impact you during the holidays and year-round.  Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to keep your home pest-free this holiday season.

5 Helpful Tips for Holiday Pest Prevention for people with pets

  1. Deck, and inspect, the halls (and other areas) – pests seek the same things we seek at the holidays – food, warmth and shelter. Did you know an adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime?  Inspect your home for any openings like cracks in the foundation or gaps in doorways.  Importantly, if openings are found seal them up.
  2. Say no to the table scraps – not only will the feeding your pest possibly be bad for them, the food waste that is left can attract all sorts of pests
  3. Check the box(es) – when getting out the decorations, be sure to see if there is any damage to the boxes. If you see any gnaw marks it may be an indication of rodents.  Use glue traps to monitor your attic or other storage space year-round and be sure to check for activity.
  4. Inspect your decorations – if signs of rodents have been detected make sure to double-check all of your electrical decorations – frayed wires could present a danger to pets
  5. Maintain your outdoor areas – seasonal debris like twigs and leaves can provide harborage to rodents and help draw them close to your home. In addition, pests can find homes in piles of unkempt firewood.

Holiday Pest Prevention - Inspection

Trust the Experts

If you discover a pest problem in your home or on your pet work closely with your veterinarian and pest management professional for a safe solution.

Learn more about Catchmaster® insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

 

Cankerworm Control Services 101

By | blog, Insects, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Cankerworm control 101

Looking to expand your business offerings? Consider cankerworm control. Cankerworms, also known as inch worms, are a common pest that occurs throughout much of the United States. The pest can be quite destructive. It feeds on the leaves of trees of many types of trees, including:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Basswood and more

The pest may cause trees to defoliate. As a result, it places great stress on the tree leading to significant damage. Cankerworms are a nuisance for both home and business owners. Areas with cankerworms infestations are often unpleasant.  In particular they can take over backyards, make an unsightly nuisance and even fall into outdoor eating areas.

Your role as a pest professional can help conserve the beauty and necessity of trees in your service region. At this time let’s take a closer look at getting started in cankerworm control.

Cankerworm control 101 - lifecycle

4 easy tips for getting started in cankerworm control

  1. Tree-banding is the solution!The good news is you do not need to obtain any special licenses to offer tree-banding services for the cankerworm. And adding this service to your repertoire will also help you to get into the Cankerworm business as well.  Not sure how to tree-band?  Fortunately, we have you covered with detailed instructions in our Tree-Banding 101 one-pager. The process is very straightforward and simple.
  2. Cross-market to your current customer base.Simply make your current audience aware of your new business offering. Use your usual marketing channels to notify customers of the threat and your additional service offering. We recommend both monitoring and control service options. Fortunately, tree-banding will allow you to do both.
  3. Protect tree health and preserve the beauty of your community.Get the word out in your service area.  Utilize social media posts, e-mail blasts and dedicated portions of your website to educate the public about the importance of treating for and monitoring for cankerworms. Pictures of the insect as well as the damage they cause can be very effective in your marketing. Our Social Media Resource Library has lots of educational content free for your use.  As a result, you can help educate the public on cankerworms and their control. For example, you could offer your expertise to your community through local newspapers and radio stations.  These organizations are often looking for local experts.
  4. Consider donating your services.Have you noticed cankerworm damage in your service region? Consider treating a small area of trees in a busy part of your community for free in exchange for placement of lawn signs advertising your business.  Lawn signs are a great way to get the word out about your brand and new service offering.

Additional Resources

Learn more about tree-banding with our Catchmaster® TB-1 glue here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Learn more about cankerworms from the University of Maryland here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cankerworm

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

 

Rodent Exclusion Tips

By | blog, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Get Proactive Protection with these Rodent Exclusion Tips for the Fall

The temperatures are getting colder, the leaves are out of the trees and the rodents are heading indoors, but, don’t fret, use these rodent exclusion tips to get ready for the season.

According to PestWorld, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States each winter! Don’t be a part of that staggering statistic. Ensure a pest-free living environment via exclusion work.  Exclusion work can prevent insects and rodents from gaining access to your home.

The importance of rodent exclusion work

Did you know that an adult mouse is able to squeeze through a hole the size of a dime? An afternoon of uncovering and sealing entry points into your home can help you to ensure a pest-free living environment all winter long.

Exclusion work simply means sealing and securing all possible points of entry into a building.  Taking this proactive step can easily reduce and even eliminate pest and rodent activity in the home. Exclusion is cost effective and more efficient in the long run. It reduces the need for chemical pesticides or rodenticides.  The result is a safe alternative for both humans and the environment.

Rodent Exclusion Tips - Home Graphic

In order to be through, begin with an inspection of your home from the inside out.

7 areas to check for rodent exclusion work

  1. Cracks and crevices in the foundation
  2. Improperly sealed vents
  3. Attics
  4. Drain pipes
  5. Door sweeps
  6. Window screens
  7. Garage doors

Caulk works well for tiny gaps, however, for openings two inches or more us copper mesh in order to fill-in holes and entry points.  Because of the mesh, Rodents cannot chew through and gain entry.

Once exclusion is performed remember to monitor indoor areas that cannot be fully sealed with glue boards and trays. Being alerted to a pest or rodent problem early can make the infestation much easier to solve.

Take some time to be pro-active this fall by performing exclusion around your home and enjoy a pest and rodent-free winter.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional resources

Get more rodent tips in your in-box by signing up for our newsletter here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about rodents from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/rodents-101/

Keeping Your Home & Pumpkins Safe from Pests this Halloween

By | blog, Insects, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Halloween pest control can help keep your holiday festive.

Halloween Pest Control - Cota

It’s October, a chill is in the air and homeowners are busy decking their halls with spiders, rats and other creepy crawlers in preparation for Halloween.  It is about the only time of the year that pests are an acceptable décor choice around the home.  Holiday displays aside, here are some tips for keeping the real pests at bay this year.

Spiders – better out than in

Did you know that spiders can actually be a beneficial pest, particularly in your garden? Perhaps not the best news if you suffer from arachnophobia. It’s true though, spiders in your garden play a pivotal role in keeping down the number of plant-killing bugs and may also prevent you from being stung while working in your garden. However, very few of us want to share our homes with these creatures.

Spider pest control tips

  1. To keep spiders out of your home, consider performing some exclusion work, filling cracks and crevices, sealing gaps and openings around the home and replacing door sweeps that may no longer provide a strong seal.
  2. Another great line of defense against indoor spiders is your vacuum cleaner. Suck up any visible spiders and be sure to remove cobwebs around your home as well.
  3. Finally, consider monitoring your home for spiders with our glue traps and boards. Place our glue trays or boards in out of the way areas to find what’s really creeping around your home this fall.

Halloween Pest Control - Rat Facts

Halloween Pest Control – Keeping the Rats at Bay

Much like spiders, rats can enter your home through relatively small cracks and holes. Did you know that a rat can squeeze its body through a hole the size of a quarter? There are a couple of actions you can take to keep rats away. First, fill any holes or gaps you find around the perimeter of your home. Second, keep your plumbing in tip top shape. Like many other pests, rats are drawn to moisture and a leaky pipe can be the water source needed.

Beware the Pumpkin Eaters

Lastly, be careful where you place that seasonal pumpkin. Pumpkins are a huge component of Halloween Pest Control.  Pumpkins left outdoors are a great food source for rats, mice and other rodents and will also draw pests to your home particularly as the pumpkin begins to rot.

Pumpkin pest prevention

  1. Display pumpkins in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and rot from setting in early and attract insects.
  2. You can protect your pumpkins with a simple mixture of bleach and water. Simply spray this mixture on a carved pumpkin each day before Halloween for an easy, effective pest management practice to keep fruit flies and other insects at bay.
  3. To avoid your pumpkin serving as a food source for rodents and squirrels in the area, try coating the pumpkin inside and out with hot pepper sauce.

We hope these tips help you to enjoy the Halloween season where the only pests you see are a part of your seasonal décor.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional Halloween Pest Control Resources

Looking for more Halloween pest tips?  Gest some mosquito tips from our own Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/halloween-mosquito-prevention/

Learn more about pests at Pest World, the official site of the National Pest Management Association here: http://pestworld.org/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

By | Insects, Mosquitoes, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – History

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), also known as sleeping sickness, was first recognized in 1831 when 75 horses died in Massachusetts.  The EEE virus was first isolated from horse brain in 1933.  Human cases were recognized in 1938 when 30 children died in the Northeast US.

Geography

Most cases occur in the Eastern US or Gulf Coast states as well as the upper Midwest.  Many cases are associated with hardwood swamps.  The virus is maintained in a mosquito-bird-mosquito cycle.  In the summer and early fall it is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes .  These mosquitoes are referred to as ‘bridge vectors’, as they ‘bridge’ the virus from birds to humans.  The virus cannot be transmitted human to human.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis - Mosquito Fun Facts

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – Impact on Public Health

About 30% of those who get Eastern Equine Encephalitis die, and those who survive have significant neurological impairment.  Those over the age of 50 and under 15 are at increased risk of severe disease, and infection provides life-long immunity.  There is no vaccine for humans.

Clinical illness presents in two forms:

  • A systemic illness, with symptoms much like influenza, that lasts 1-2 weeks with complete recovery
  • An encephalitic (inflammation of the brain) illness with restlessness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and coma.

2019 Update

The average number of cases per year is about 7.  However, in 2019 there have already been at least 27 cases in 6 states with 11 deaths (as of October 3rd).  Cases so far by state with deaths in parentheses include Massachusetts – 11 (4), Michigan – 8 (3), Connecticut – 4 (3), Rhode Island – 1 (1), New Jersey – 1, North Carolina – 1.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Additional Resources

For help with mosquito season 2019 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Rodent Trapping Tip – Big Ed’s Trapping Tips

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

In the first installment of our 2019 rodent trapping tip series, Big Ed shares one tip with many benefits for utilizing plastic snap traps like our Easy Set snap traps.

Rodent Trapping Tip – Anchor your snap traps to increase catch rates. 

When rodents first interact with newly installed traps they often approach and investigate the device from the back and side.  As a result, they may inadvertently avoid the deadly trigger.  They often push and slide the trap around while inspecting the new item in their environment.  Therefore,  setting it off without a capture.  Another benefit of anchoring your trap is that it optimizes and directs the force generated by the system to maximize killing power.  When a snap trap is triggered, energy can be lost as the device reacts.  Focusing this energy allows the trap to dispatch the pest in a quick and humane manner.

Rodent Trapping Tip - Easy Set

Additional Resources

Catchmaster® Easy-Set™ snap traps have been optimized with feedback from the field, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/easy-set-mouse-snap-traps/

Learn more about Big Ed here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-big-ed-and-his-trapping-tips/

If you liked this rodent trapping tip, get more in your in-box by signing up for our newsletter here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about rodents from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/rodents-101/

 

Spotted Lanternfly Control Services 101

By | Insects, spotted lanternfly, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Spotted lanternfly control 101

As a pest pro, spotted lanternfly control services can benefit your bottom line.  If you live in the northeastern part of the United States you have likely heard of the pest.  As a result,  you may be getting calls from concerned home and business owners. For instance, this invasive species has already caused twenty-two counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to go into quarantine.  It has been spotted in New York to the north and states as far south as Virginia. The pest poses a significant threat to our agriculture including grapes, apples, hops and hardwood industries.

spotted lanternfly map

If you are on the fence about offering spotted lanternfly control services, or have an interest but don’t know where to start, then this article is for you.  As the threat grows, your role as a pest professional will be more important than ever. Let’s take a closer look at getting started in spotted lanternfly control.

4 Tips to get you started in spotted lanternfly control

  1. Not familiar with tree-banding, no problem! Tree-banding creates an effective insect barrier – and you’ll be happy to know that you do not need to obtain any special licenses to offer tree-banding services for the spotted lanternfly.  Not sure how to tree-band?  Fortunately, we have you covered with detailed instructions in our Tree-Banding 101 one-pager. The process is very straightforward and simple.
  2. Market to those diamonds in your own backyard. If you live in a geographical area already impacted by the spotted lanternfly then you have a great base of customers to draw upon. Employ your usual marketing channels to notify customers of the threat and your additional service offering. We recommend both monitoring and control service options. Fortunately, tree-banding will allow you to do both.
  3. Become a part of the solution. Use digital channels to get the word out in your service area.  For example, you can utilize social media posts, e-mail blasts and dedicated portions of your website to educate the public about the importance of monitoring for the spotted lanternfly. Our Social Media Resource Library has lots of educational content free for your use.  As a result, you can help educate the public on the spotted lanternfly. For example, you could offer your expertise to your community through local newspapers and radio stations.  These organizations are often looking for local experts.
  4. Consider a free service in exchange for some advertising. Perhaps there is a local park in a downtown area or a sports field that gets lots of traffic in your service area. Consider offering free tree-banding to a select area of your town in exchange for some simple signage warning the public to be on the look out for the spotted lanternfly.  Get your brand out by placing yard signs in the area offering your services to monitor or control the pest.

how to spot a spotted lanternfly invasion

Act now!

Unfortunately, the spotted lanternfly will likely be a concern for some time to come.  Fortunately, is the time to get in the game and own your local market for tree-banding services.  By deploying some (or all!) of the tips above you can be well-positioned to grow your business.

Additional Resources

Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners

Learn more about tree-banding with our Catchmaster® TB-1 glue here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

 

How to Spot a Spotted Lanternfly Infestation

By | blog, Insects, spotted lanternfly, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

If you are unfamiliar with the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), it’s a good idea to get acquainted with this sap-feeding insect before it’s too late.  Your trees and produce may already be at risk.

Spotted lanternfly background

First spotted in the United States in 2014, the invasive pest was originally discovered in Pennsylvania and has since spread rapidly.  It is known to feed on vines, shrubs, fruit trees, hardwoods, grapevines, and over 70 other species of trees. Infestations are often accidental but can occur seemingly overnight when eggs are transported by landscapers or homeowners doing yardwork. Egg masses and other life stages can also be found on a variety of other outdoor items including vehicles, patio furniture, swing sets, and more. For that reason, it’s very easy for them to spread quickly when humans move anything bearing the eggs.

So, how do you spot an infestation of the spotted lanternfly? The following can help as you check for egg masses on trees and items stored outside.

Identification & Life Cycle

If you hear of an infestation in your area, it’s a good idea to look for eggs all over your property.  They can be anywhere – not just on trees. The spotted lanternfly has one generation every year. Adult females lay eggs in September and continue until early December. Early detection is key as the eggs can survive the winter months and hatch in early spring.

spotted lanternfly eggs

Resembling mud, the pod-like egg masses are usually gray or off-white and will crack and darken over time.

spotted lanternfly nymphs

The eggs hatch in the spring and the nymphs immediately begin feeding. They are recognized as small black nymphs with white spots.

spotted lanternfly instars

The spotted lanternfly completes four life stages, also known as instars, before maturing into adults. The first three instar nymphs are black with white markings while the fourth instar nymphs are reddish-orange with white markings.

spotted lanternfly adults

Mostly seen in late summer and fall, adult nymphs have wings and are about an inch long and a half inch wide. They have gray forewings with black spots and hindwings that can be red, white and black striped.

Tree-Banding for the spotted lanternfly

If you are concerned about populations of the spotted lanternfly in your area, consider working with a pest professional who can perform tree-banding. Tree-banding creates a physical barrier on tree trunks that consist of a wrap and glue. The process allows homeowners to monitor trees proactively for the spotted lanternfly. Click here to learn more.

Additional Resources

Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners

Learn more about tree-banding with our Catchmaster® TB-1 glue here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Back to School Pest Control

By | Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Avoid Pests this Back to School Season

With back to school season upon us, it is also time to brush up on your back to school pest control. The start of the school year coincides with the fall season and a popular time for indoor pests to re-surface. Avoid the possibility of your students bringing pests home to you this school year with the following back-to-school tips:

Back to School Pest Control 101

Keep backpacks clean and properly stored.

Backpacks can easily become a breeding ground for germs and an open invitation for pests. As remnants of lunch and clutter build up over the school year it can attract pests to your home like ants, fruit flies, rodents or even bed bugs. To avoid these pests, regularly clean out your student’s backpack and wash it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Always store backpacks out of bedrooms, in a mudroom or area away from sleeping areas.

Change bedding often and inspect for bed bugs.

Bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking their way into a home. The school year presents a heightened risk of picking up this dreaded pest. Bed bugs can easily drop off one backpack and into another. The risk is even greater at a boarding school or college where the student sleeps. Be aware of what a bed bug infestation looks like and always inspect bedding as well as the mattress and box spring when changing bed sheets. If bed bugs are detected, alert the school and work closely with a pest professional to eliminate the problem.

Never buy or pick-up used furniture.

Experts recommend that you avoid buying or picking up used furniture. Used furniture can easily be infested with bed bugs or other pests and may be very difficult to detect for the average person.

Wash & dry all clothing upon returning home from school.

Two of the biggest hitchhiking pests known to infiltrate schools are lice and bed bugs. Clothing is an easy carrier for these pests to make their way into your home. Whether it’s the art smock that is occasionally brought home or the extra sweater that has been hanging in the locker, be sure to wash and dry at the hottest temperature that the fabric will allow to kill these pests.

Regularly monitor your home for pests.

The easiest way to deal with a pest infestation is to catch it early. Monitoring your home with glue boards can offer you peace of mind that you will detect a pest problem before a full blown infestation has the chance to settle in.

Additional Resources for Back to School Pest Control

Learn more about pests at Pest World, the official site of the National Pest Management Association here: http://pestworld.org/

To help your customers with back to school pest control consider our 288i insect traps and monitors: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Outdoor Pet Protection Tips

By | Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Protecting your pet from pests may not always be top of mind. Sure, keeping pests away from your pet will give him a better quality of life; but it can also protect his or her life. Some pests like ticks, scorpions and poisonous spiders, to name just a few, can pose a serious threat to your pet. Here are 5 outdoor pet protection tips.

5 Outdoor Pet Protection Tips

  1. Maintain Your Outdoor Space. Big or small your lawn and garden areas should be cut regularly and kept clear of debris. Seasonal lawn cleanups are essential to remove leaf litter, twigs and other plant material that may attract pests to the area.
  2. Treat Your Lawn. Despite your best efforts, ticks, mosquitoes and even fleas can infiltrate your outdoor space. Talk to your landscaper about a safe lawn treatment to keep these pests at bay.
  3. Treat Your Pet. Speak with a trusted veterinarian on the best flea and tick treatment for your pet. Be sure to set calendar reminders to ensure you never miss a dose.
  4. Regularly Inspect Your Pet. Be sure to closely examine your pet after hikes, walks and time spent outdoors. Despite your best efforts and prescription treatments, your pet can still come into contact with fleas, ticks and other pests.
  5. Monitor Your Home. Don’t let your guard down on pests just because most time is spent inside of the home. Fleas, ticks, scorpions, spiders and other pests can easily infest a home and latch onto your pet while indoors. Glue boards offer an extra layer of protection to alert you early on to an indoor pest infestation. Use them near your pet’s sleeping area but always safely out of reach of your pet.

Trust the Experts

If you discover a pest problem in your home or on your pet work closely with your veterinarian and pest management professional for a safe solution.

Learn more about Catchmaster® insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Learn more about your pest management from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/