Tips for Raccoon-Proofing Your Home

raccoon in garbageWhen most people think of pest control, they think of ants, spiders and the occasional mouse or rat. Animals like raccoons are also known to cause problems, especially as the weather gets chilly and they start looking for a cozy place to escape the snow. Nocturnal critters that make themselves at home in attics and under porches, raccoons are also the wild animal most commonly carrying rabies. The first line of defense against these pests is prevention. Raccoons love squeezing down chimneys and raiding the garbage, so take the proper steps to keep them out of your home and yard.

Close Off the Chimney

As you head to the roof to clean out gutters and hang Christmas lights this December, we recommend covering your chimney with a chimney cap as well. These covers will prevent raccoons from gaining access to your home while allowing smoke to escape when you light a fire. You can also trim back branches on nearby trees to keep pests off of your roof altogether.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

Raccoons have been known to enter homes through a variety of spaces, including vents and holes as small as a baseball. Take some time to inspect the outside of your home for cracks and holes in the foundation and soffits, fixing those that you come across to prevent unwanted guests from sneaking inside. Install screens to cover outdoor vents as well, checking them regularly to make sure no one has broken through.

Properly Seal Trash Cans

From dog food to garbage, raccoons are scavengers that will eat almost anything! If your trash cans are being tipped over and raided in the evenings, place a brick on top of each can, switch to ones that lock shut or start keeping them in your (well sealed) garage. If raccoons are unable to get into your home and garbage, they will move on to somewhere they can gain access to.

If you see signs of damage to the outside of your Dunkirk, New York home or hear the critters moving about in your attic, call Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120 today. Our technicians are available at all times for all of your pest emergencies.

Advice for Winter Pest Control

winter pest control As December approaches and snow begins to fall in the Dunkirk, New York area, pests like bees and mosquitoes go into hibernation, making many homeowners think that pest control is not needed during the winter months. Unfortunately, there are many other critters that may be crawling underfoot this season, looking to escape from the chilly weather outdoors. Rodents and spiders are both known to migrate inside as the weather grows cold, making it important to keep your home protected. You don’t want a mouse making an appearance at your annual holiday party!

Firewood Storage

For families that heat their home with a wood burning stove or fireplace, firewood is a necessity in the winter. It also creates a cozy location for critters like mice and ants to make their nests. To prevent these pests from gaining access to your home, we recommend keeping your firewood pile at least 20 feet from the house.

Leaky Pipes

Cockroaches are another common cold-weather pest that can trigger allergies and worsen asthma symptoms. Often found in kitchens and bathrooms, these pests love warm, damp areas and can often be found under appliances and sinks. Perform a thorough check of your home this season, tightening leaky pipes to keep cockroaches from making themselves at home.

Cover your Chimney

As you are decorating the outside of your home this holiday season, take some time to protect it from pests as well. A mesh cover or chimney cap can be installed to keep squirrels and raccoons from making their way indoors. Homeowners should also trim back bushes and trees, preventing these animals from getting access to your roof.

Whether you find a pest in your home or are interested in taking preventative measures to keep them out this winter, contact Comfort Pest Control online or by phone at 716-366-2120 today!

Terrifying Signs You’re Living With Mice

MiceOur relationship with mice presents an interesting paradox. How can such small—some might even say cute—critters instill such dread in certain people? Whatever your own reaction might be to mice, it’s probably safe to say you wouldn’t want to live amongst them.

 

In Western New York and beyond, mice tend to follow us humans just about everywhere we go. And now is the time of year when they’re looking for a warm home to shack up like yours. Here are a few ways to tell whether mice have gotten too close for comfort.

 

Creepy Sounds In The Night

Because mice are nocturnal, they’ll be most active during the night. Comforting, right? If you do get lucky enough to spot a mouse during the day, it could be a sign that you’re dealing with a particularly bad infestation. If you’re unsure about the scurrying and squeaking sounds coming from your walls and ceilings, keep an eye out for tracks the next day.

 

Everybody Poops

Mice need to poop just like you and I. But unlike us, they can’t really control where, when, and how often they go (or at least they don’t bother trying). For that reason, mouse droppings are often the giveaway that you’re dealing with an infestation. Look for small brown droppings in the shape of grains of rice.

 

If You’ve Smelt It, Mice Might Have Dealt It

There are three reasons why a strong, pungent odor could give away a mouse problem. First, mice tend to travel constantly through the same places. Second, like other animals, they mark this territory by urinating. Third, their urine smells awful. A black light can be helpful in identifying areas that mice like to call their own.

 

Mice Have Bad Habits Too

Some people have a bad habit of chewing on their nails, but all mice have a habit of chewing everything. In fact, they need to chew to keep their teeth short. While a hole in your cereal box is a dead giveaway, keep an eye out for other damage as well.

 

Listen to Your Pets

Ever seen house cats hunt for a rodent? It almost seems like they’re designed for it, and that’s because they are. Pets will be able to tell there are mice around before you can, so pay attention to strange behavior. While mice might keep their distance from your pets, they’ll probably want to help themselves to their food supply, so check the bags from time to time as well.

 

If you think you might be dealing with mice, give Comfort Pest Control a call today.

Insect and Rodent Exclusion Programs for the Home and Business

insect and rodent exclusionA good exterminator knows that there are variety of ways to eliminate pests, and constantly considers which method will be most effective. In many cases, exclusion programs work best—that is, stopping insects and rodents from entering proactively. It might sound easier than it actually is, however, as exclusion programs require an understanding of the specific pest’s behavior, as well as their surrounding environment.

If insects or rodents are finding their way into your home or business, you need to identify exactly what type of pest they are. Every species of creature has its own particular instincts that lead them into your building. At Comfort Pest Control, we have expert knowledge on what attracts problems, whether it be sources of light, food, or materials. We can also examine an environment and local trends to determine what might turn into a problem in the future.

The most important aspect of insect and rodent exclusion programs is the inspection of the building in question. A good exterminator will leave no stone unturned, closely examining entry points. The next step, of course, is eliminating each entry point. This could involve anything from closing gaps in the foundation to adding a screened barrier to ducts. A line must be traced from the source to the destination, and that line must be interrupted and diverted away from the home.

Another key component of any effective insect and rodent exclusion program is the elimination of sources of attraction for pests. Recommendations may be given to the home or business owner based on the insect or rodent that’s been a problem. Often, a deep cleaning of an area or more sanitary habits can go a long way towards resolving the problem.

At Comfort Pest Control, we provide insect and rodent exclusion programs in the Dunkirk, NY and surrounding areas. If you’re having problems with pests, and would prefer they stay out of your home in the first place, contact us for a consultation today.

 

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