Active Pests In Southern Wisconsin: Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back. These spiders often infest cedar shake roofs and spin irregular webs, which are used as a retreat.

Pest Stats

Color: Light to dark brown, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on back

Legs: 8

Shape: Round

Size: ¼ – ½ inch long

Antennae: No

Region
Found in the south central Midwest in Southern Wisconsin & Northern Illinois and from Ohio to Nebraska and south through Texas to Georgia

Habits
Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other small bugs like cockroaches and crickets. These spiders spin irregular webs, which are not used for catching prey but rather as a retreat.

Habitat
Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors where they are typically found around rocks, utility boxes and woodpiles. Indoors, brown recluses can be found in any undisturbed area, such as inside boxes, among papers, in seldom-used apparel and shoes, under furniture or in crevices of window moldings. Closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements are the most common brown recluse spider hiding spots.

Threats
Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. However, both female and male brown recluse spiders can bite and inject venom. The brown recluse’s bite is usually not felt, but results in a stinging sensation followed by intense pain as long as six to eight hours later. A small blister usually develops at the bite location that can turn into an open ulcer. Restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite.

Brown Recluse Spider Prevention
To avoid brown recluse spiders, do not leaving clothing on the floor. Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers, and shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing. To get rid of brown recluse spiders, contact a pest professional with brown recluse spider control experience.

Rodents & Cockroaches Pose Serious Hidden Health Risks When They Infest Your Home

 

“Many people think pests are just an annoyance and often forget that there are real health dangers associated with the presence of these pests in and around the home,” says Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA“People don’t think of asthma, Salmonella, or severe allergic reactions, which is why infestations should not be taken lightly.”

People are continually on the lookout for ways to safeguard their family’s health at home. However, some of the most likely sources of danger may not be the first that come to mind. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that rodents, cockroaches and stinging insects pose serious, but often hidden, health risks when they infest a home.

Rodents bring other pests including fleas, mites, ticks and lice indoors and contaminate food with feces that can transmit Salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches spread 33 kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms and more than seven other types of human pathogens. More, cockroach droppings and shed skins lead to allergen accumulation that can trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. Nearly $1B is spent on professional cockroach management services in the U.S. each year, making them one of the most prevalent and hazardous pests.

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Why Rodents are a Danger to Health and Home

Rodent control and management are important for health and safety reasons.
It’s a challenge to stay healthy during the winter, especially with the prevalence of the flu and common colds. Unfortunately, something most people don’t think about this time of year is the threat posed by rodents to both our health and property. Rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S. every winter, and an infestation can cause more than just a headache for homeowners. During the colder months, rodents such as mice and rats search for food, warmth and shelter indoors, often entering homes through small cracks and crevices. However, the real concern is that these pests can spread diseases and cause serious property damage once inside.

Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.
The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce up to 35 young per year. House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, however, they are color blind and cannot see clearly beyond six inches. House mice live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. House mice prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.

In addition to health risks, rodents can pose a significant property risk as they have a tendency to destroy insulation in attics and can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood and even electrical wiring. In fact, rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S. every year. With rapid reproduction rates, rodents can quickly go from being unnoticeable to causing a full-blown infestation. Homeowners should look at prevention as the first line of defense again these pests and take steps to keep them out of the home.

House Mouse Prevention

To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice can hide in clutter. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building to prevent ideal conditions in which house mice can nest. Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice including droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food goods. If you suspect a rodent infestation, contact Bohmz Pest Services, your locally owned licensed rodent pest control professional to treat and get rid of your house mice infestation.

Stinging insects, including wasps and hornets send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. And according to the Center for Disease Control, West Nile virus, a disease spread by mosquitoes, resulted in more than 1,300 human cases and 43 fatalities in 2008.

If an infestation is suspected, we can offer the expertise and knowledge to treat the problem!

If you see signs of a pest infestation, contact Bohmz Pest Services, your local licensed pest professional serving Dane County, Rock County, Walworth County & Jefferson County.

Boxelder Bugs Are On the Move This October | Prevention & Tips

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With the cool fall air slowly creeping in, boxelder bugs and other seasonal pests have begun to seek shelter inside homes and buildings in anticipation of the winter months ahead.  Often found basking in the sunlight in and around buildings, especially on south-facing walls, boxelder bugs seek out cracks and crevices that will lead them to sheltered area just before winter arrives.

Although these pests are relatively harmless, they can be a huge nuisance to property owners as they have a habit of migrating in large numbers.  Additionally, their excrement has been known to leave stains on walls, curtains and other areas inside the home.

Boxelder bug infestations typically begin in the fall, when the bugs begin moving indoors, and will last until early spring when they emerge from hibernation and make their way back outside. In order to avoid these pesky bugs this fall and into the spring, I recommend taking a few preventative measures before the weather turns cold.  And the best place to start is being able to identify the intruder.

What is a boxelder bug?

  • Adult boxelder bugs are about a half inch long, with flat wing that lay across their backs.
  • The bugs are black with distinctive orange or red markings.
  • They are named after the Boxelder trees they feed on, but have also been known to consume Ash, Maple and Cherry trees as well as other seed-bearing plants.

 

A nuisance pest:

  • Boxelders do not bite or cause damage to property; however, they have earned a reputation as a nuisance pest due to their tendency to migrate indoors in large numbers each fall.
  • Thriving on sunlight, boxelders can be spotted around windows, crack and crevices basking in the sun’s rays.
  • They can also be found in walls or attics, hibernating for the winter.

Black and orange bugs congregated on the sunny side of your house in fall are likely boxelder bugs. They are not harmful to plants and people, but certainly are annoying. The immature bugs feed on ground level vegetation throughout the summer. The adults move to female boxelder trees, a type of maple, and occasionally to other maples and ash trees to eat and lay eggs. Their feeding does not harm the trees. The problem usually occurs when the adults seek a warm sunny spot, usually the side of your home, to warm themselves in fall. As temperatures cool they often find their way indoors through cracks and crevices. Repair and fill any crevices to keep these insects out of the house. Manage high populations by vacuuming as they congregate or spray the side of your house with soapy water. Test the siding first to make sure the soapy solution will not change the color of your siding. Removing the tree is not guaranteed to solve the problem. Adults can fly and may find their way to the sunny side of your home. Better to seal the house to keep them out or learn to live with these annoying pests.

 

Prevention and tips for exclusion:

  • Check for damaged screens doors in roof and soffit vents and in bathroom and kitchen fans.  Replace or repair them as necessary.
  • Seal areas where cable TV wires, phone lines and other utility wires/pipes enter buildings.  Do the same for outdoor facets, dryer vents and similar objects.
  • Seal exterior cracks and openings with caulk.  For larger spaces, use polyurethane expandable spray foam, copper mesh or another appropriate sealant.
  • Install door sweeps at all exterior entry doors and install a rubber seal along the bottom of garage doors.

With just a few simple fall pest-proofing steps, you can ensure that your home remains free of boxelder bugs now and into the spring season. And, as an added bonus, these tips will help you seal up any cracks that will let cold air in before winter arrives!


Immediate assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contactour certified pest control technicians in Janesville & Madison about your bug pest control needs at 608-201-0807 today.

Contact Us To Get Started!No time to meet? No problem! If you are unable to meet with our technician at the time of service, we can still assist you. Your keys and codes will be completely safe with our licensed and certified technicians. To schedule an appointment for residential or business service, contact Bohmz Pest Services by calling 608.201.0807 today or by visiting our contact page.

Summer Is Almost Over…Yellow Jacket Pest Tips

Summer Is Almost Over...Yellow Jacket Pest Tips

Unfortunately summer is getting close to being over which means pests and insects are also hard at work. Yellow jackets are preparing for the cooler months that lie ahead. Yellow jackets are in a frenzy during late summer and early fall, trying to gather as much food as possible for their hive.  This food is needed to help the newly produced queens survive the winter, while the rest of the hive members will die off with the first frost. Yellow jackets are very aggressive this time of year as they scavenge for human foods (like soda, juices, candy, hot dogs, and hamburgers etc.), and they will readily sting any person who stands in their way.

Here is what you can do in order to avoid getting stung:  Do not swat or run rapidly away from a yellow jacket buzzing around you, as quick movements can provoke an attack.  Instead, remain calm and motionless for a while, and then move slowly away from the area. If you are at a picnic, all food and beverages should be covered until served, and keep your thumb over your soda can in between sips in order to avoid swallowing any. Keep food sources, especially protein, indoors. Yellow jackets feed primarily off of protein, so be sure to keep those turkey sandwiches indoors and enjoy the postprandial glow outside instead of the other way around. Food sources include your pet’s food as well. Make sure you find an effective way to store your pet food (if you do store it outside) so that any roaming yellow jackets can’t make a quick feast out of your furry friend’s treat.

Don’t leave sugar out. In the spring and summer, yellow jackets eat primarily protein. In the fall, yellow jackets begin to incorporate sugars into their diet. Sugar can increase the lifespan and reproductive function of many predatory wasps, making it a particularly dangerous thing to keep around. If picnicking, try to keep sweets such as sodas and desserts indoors. Hummingbird feeders, essentially sugar-water dispensers, can be especially problematic. Investigate ways to kill or remove the entire colony before you put up a lot of sugar-water for them to gorge on.

Put out sliced cucumbers. If you have to put out food (we do not advocate blowing off 4th of July on account of some pesky wasps), one unusual wasp repellent you can try is cucumber. This vegetable has an acid property that wasps don’t like. Cut up a few slices and leave around your picnic or BBQ area. They stay away and you can enjoy your outdoor activities without fear of getting stung.

Seal your garbage cans tightly. Yellow jackets are primarily hunters, but they can morph into greedy little scavengers if the prize is worth it. An open or easy-to-access garbage can is just that. Remember that sugars and proteins are especially pleasing to yellow jackets, so consider isolating those into separate bins to be extra sure. It’s not necessary if you take care to lock up your entire garbage heap, but it may give succor to those fiercely afraid of yellow jackets.

Don’t do these things. In addition to the advice above, don’t do any of the following thing, as they are most likely counterproductive: Don’t wear bright colors. The yellow jackets could think that you’re a flower and be attracted to you. Don’t swat at yellow jackets. Killing one yellow jacket may be cathartic, but it also causes a pheromone to be released which attracts other wasps. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Don’t wear overly aromatic perfumes. Yellow jackets are attracted to sweet smells.

Sources

Burglar hides from police… in a wasps’ nest – Ooops!

A man is repeatedly stung by angry wasps when he disrupted their nest while hiding in a bush from police.

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Photo: Alamy

A suspected burglar was caught with a different kind of sting operation after he disturbed a wasps’ nest while hiding from police.

The man was repeatedly stung by angry wasps when he disrupted their nest while hiding in a bush from officers.

He had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

West Yorkshire Police’s Leeds Inner South Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) posted on Facebook: “A male has been arrested after breaking into business premises in Hunslet.

“The male however is currently in hospital after making the unfortunate decision to hide from the police in a bush and thus disturbing a wasps’ nest.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Wasps are semi-social and live in small colonies. While not an aggressive species by nature, wasps will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.

TIP: WASP PREVENTION
Wasps often build nests in residential yards. Before trimming shrubs or hedges, or picking fruit, check the plant for wasp nests. Treat wood fences and deck railings with a repellent oil to deter wasps from gathering cellulose from the wood. If you suspect you have a wasp infestation or find a wasp nest on your property, contact Bohmz Pest Services, a licensed pest management professional to find out about wasp treatment.

Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own, as there is a high probability you will get stung!

Wasps, Bees & Hornet Removal Services | Janesville & Madison

Immediate assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact our certified pest control technicians in Janesville & Madison about your Wasps, Bees & Hornet Removal Service needs at 608-201-0807 today.

No time to meet? No problem! If you are unable to meet with our technician at the time of service, we can still assist you. Your keys and codes will be completely safe with our licensed and certified technicians. To schedule an appointment for residential or business service, contact Bohmz Pest Services by calling 608.201.0807 today or by visiting our contact page.

Bed Bug Frequently Asked Questions

 

Bed bugs were once a common public health nuisance, declining in incidence through the mid 20th century. However, bed bugs have experienced a dramatic resurgence and there are worldwide reports of increasing numbers of infestations. The presence or absence of bed bugs has no relation to the cleanliness of your home; the most immaculate homes are just as suceptible to bed bug infestation as untidy homes. Bed bugs are one of the great travelers of the world and are readily transported via luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area.

These signs include:

  • the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,
  • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
  • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
  • a sweet musty odor.

How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?

It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.

Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.

How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.

Who is at risk for getting bed bugs?

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.

How are bed bugs treated and prevented?

Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.


Bohmz Pest Services Can Get Rid of Bed Bugs! Bed Bug Removal Services in Janesville & Madison.

To schedule an appointment for residential or business service, contact Bohmz Pest Services by calling 608.201.0807 today or by visiting our contact page.

Top Ten Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs

  1. Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects.
    You can compare your insect to the pictures online or show it to Bohmz Pest Service professionals.
  2. Don’t panic!
    It can be difficult to eliminate bed bugs, but it’s not impossible. Don’t throw out all of your things because most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing stuff out is expensive, may spread the bed bugs to other people’s homes and could cause more stress.
  3. Think through your treatment options — Don’’t immediately reach for the spray can.
    Be comprehensive in your approach.  If pesticides are needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional. There is help available to learn about treatment options.
  4. Reduce the number of hiding places — Clean up the clutter.
    A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating them harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.
  5. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor.
    This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.
  6. Do-it-yourself freezing may not be a reliable method for bed bug control.
    While freezing can kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain very low for a long time. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill bed bugs; always use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Putting things outside in freezing temperatures could kill bed bugs, but there are many factors that can affect the success of this method.
  7. Kill bed bugs with heat, but be very careful.
    Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters won’t do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, if the contents become hot enough. Bed bugs die when their body temperatures reaches 45°C (113°F). To kill bed bugs with heat, the room or container must be even hotter to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding
  8. Don’’t pass your bed bugs on to others.
    Bed bugs are good hitchhikers. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs.
  9. Reduce the number of bed bugs to reduce bites.
    Thorough vacuuming can get rid of some of your bed bugs. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin.
  10. Turn to the professionals, if needed.
    Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of bed bugs.