Let me tell you about one of the most difficult yet rewarding pest control jobs ever for me. I got a call from my office manager, Bob, saying, “Nate, I have a tough one for you. I have a lady on the other line that is almost in tears because she can’t sleep. She had been hearing noises around her trailer and last night, she had something jump on her. But here’s the catch.” “Here it comes” I thought to myself. ”She’s blind” said Bob. I assured Bob that I would take care of it and I called the customer. An elderly, panicked voice was on the other end and I let her know that I was on my way. When I got to the door I could see her standing right next to the door waiting for me to knock. “hello” I said to her. “Oh, thank God!” she exclaimed. I introduced myself and she told me her harrowing tale about how she hadn’t got more than a couple hours sleep for past few days and how she couldn’t stop jumping at every sound no matter what it was. “I had the choice of getting a hotel for a few days or getting someone to take care of this. But I can’t afford both” she said. I calmed her fears by telling her a little about rat behavior and what we can do for her.
After inspecting the inside and outside for evidence of rats I found rat droppings in nearly every room, papers and carpet fibers that had been chewed for nesting and a few nests around. That was just what I could see with a flashlight. I explained what I had found and her eyes started to well up with exacerbation. I told her that I understand how she feels. “You feel invaded” I said to her. “Yes, exactly!” she replied. “But, I’ll get em’” I assured her. This was an old trailer with holes and other access points for rats to come in aplenty and clutter in an ordered chaos that I assumed was necessary for someone living alone that couldn’t see well. I set over a dozen traps all around the trailer in the most advantageous spots. I also set exterior rodent boxes around the outside to take care of the ones outside to keep them out of her home. After setting everything up it occurred to me that I had just changed the environment for a blind woman living alone. So I told her what I saw and did. Then I asked her to “come with me on a tour”. I very slowly and patiently took her from trap to trap to make sure she knew where they were. Then I let her know that I didn’t find any signs of activity in the sun room. She has a futon in there and a TV. I told her she should be safe in there to sleep. She didn’t seem fully convinced. I did my best to convince her, but I didn’t feel that she was comfortable. Then a thought came to mind – “But I have an idea, I’ll be right back” I said to her as I hurried to my truck. I had a stack of rat glue boards. Usually I don’t like to use them but every tool has it’s use. I made a barrier surrounding the futon with the glue boards, with the only gap being about a 3 foot “walkway” for her to walk to her temporary safe space. I showed her exactly where to go to get into the futon without touching the glue boards. When I was about to leave I could tell already that she felt a lot better.
As I returned for follow up services I started to talk to her and we developed a sincere friendship. I would spend more time talking to her sometimes than checking traps etc. She has led a very interesting life and she gave me some advice on my own life that I’ll keep forever. She told me what had caused her blindness and that she had a stroke like injury a few years before. My mother had a similar injury just a couple of months before and my mother isn’t able to talk about it. So this lady told me all about her experience and how she felt. I still say hi to her when I’m in her neighborhood. The unexpected perks of the job I guess.
With holiday preparations underway like decorating, baking, and making plans with loved ones, other important to-dos can fall to the wayside, such as pest-proofing the home. Yet, many classic fall and winter pests, like rodents, spiders and cockroaches are moving indoors, causing contamination, diseases, property damage and allergies.
To avoid infestations, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to pest proof their homes against these uninvited house guests.
“Fall pests can create serious problems for our family once inside the home, so it is crucial to prevent them from finding their way inside in the first place. Rodents can inflict property damage by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires, and they can contaminate food and spread diseases like salmonella,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Most spiders we find in the home pose little risk to our health, with the exception of Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders, but no one wants their home overrun by these arachnids, and cockroaches can aggravate allergies and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children.”
The NPMA recommends these pest-proofing tips to keep bugs, spiders and rodents out:
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys
- Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the structure
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes, clogged drains and clear leaves from gutters
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and brush it off before bringing it indoors
- After pulling decorations from storage, unpack them outdoors to check for signs of pests. Look inside boxes for droppings, gnaw marks or live bugs. Examine string lights to ensure wiring is fully intact.
- If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to properly inspect, identify and treat the problem.
Barrier Applications are Key for Aedes Mosquito Management –
These Mosquitos can carry the Zika virus
Aedes mosquitoes readily feed on humans and are closely associated with human habitats, often laying their eggs in containers that are manmade (such as tires and rain gutters) or natural (such as tree holes). When not feeding, adult mosquitoes rest in protected places, usually dark and damp areas with little air movement, such as vegetation, which provides them with cover from the elements. Unlike male mosquitoes, which feed exclusively on plant nectar, female mosquitoes are blood feeders. They are able to quickly locate humans and other warm-blooded animals as a result of their ability to perceive movement, sense heat, and detect chemicals such as the CO2 given off by humans and other animals.
Traditional mosquito control methods of truck mounted and aerial sprays have proven ineffective in controlling Aedes mosquitoes. Barrier treatments, however, are an effective method of managing these pests.
- A barrier treatment consists of treating all vegetation, including but not limited to trees, bushes and shrubbery from ground level up to a height of about 10 feet with a residual insecticide labeled for mosquitoes.
- Backpack misters are ideal for these applications, as they disperse fine droplets into dense vegetation and underneath leaves
- Other common mosquito resting sites, including under decks, near drainage spouts and other shady, moist areas, should be included in the barrier treatment area.
Reduce Mosquitoes’ Breeding Sites
- Ensure there is no standing water around your home for mosquitoes to breed in.
- Change the water in bird baths & wading pools at least once a week.
- Aerate ornamental ponds or pools to prevent mosquitoes from breading in still water
- Check your yard, underneath decks, in gutters & along rooflines, keeping these areas clean helps to eliminate major breeding areas.
- Mosquitoes prefer to rest on humid, well shaded & low-wind areas such as dense vegetation.
- Mosquitoes tend to rest on walls of buildings & foundation plants.
Call Adams Pest Control Today for Mosquito Control 772-878-3828.