6 Reasons to Get a Pest Control Inspection

Do you think you might have a pest problem in your home? Or maybe you’re moving into a new house and want to verify that it’s pest-free before you move in?

Regardless, there are countless reasons to get in a pest control inspection, even if you have no reason to suspect you have pests. For one, Amco Ranger offers free pest inspections to Missouri homeowners.  What do you have to lose?

However, there are other, more important reasons to check your home for pests. Pests can damage your home and even pose a risk to your health. Keep reading for the top six reasons you should get a pest inspection today.

1. You’ve Spotted Pests or Signs of Pests

One of the most obvious reasons to hire a professional pest controller is if you see a pest or have found signs of them in your home. For example, if you see a mouse scurry across your garage or up in your attic, you can bet that there are more hiding where you can’t see them. 

It’s very rare that a mouse or any other type of pest is living in your home alone. In most cases, they have a den or nest hiding somewhere nearby. 

Various signs of pests you should watch out for include:

  • Pest sightings
  • Pest droppings
  • Damage to your home and property 
  • Holes in your wall 
  • Evidence of nests or nesting
  • Grease marks along baseboards
  • And more

It’s vital to act immediately if you see any of these signs. The longer you allow pests to live in your home, the worse your problem will become. A pest control inspection will identify the extent of your problem so you can decide what to do moving forward. 

2. Pests Multiple Quickly

As noted above, immediate action is required if you see signs of pests. You might be wondering why that is. 

To put things into perspective, let’s take a look at how quickly rodents multiply. Did you know a female rat can have six litters of rat pups a year? Each of these litters, by the way, can contain upwards of 12 pups. 

Therefore, one female rate can produce up to 72 pups in your home in one year. However, rodents become sexually mature in as little as four weeks. That means more male and female rodents reproducing in your home at terrifying rates. 

The long math here suggests that two rats can grow into 1,250 rats in a single year. In a home, that is beyond an infestation. A quick and free pest control inspection can find the root of your rodent problem so you can snub it out before it ever gets to this point. 

3. Pests Can Cause a Lot of Damage

Why are pests so bad? If you can get past the initial shock of seeing bugs or rodents in your home, what’s the big deal?

First, most homeowners can’t get comfortable with the idea of sharing their homes with unwanted guests, nor should they. Secondly, and more importantly, pests can do a lot of damage to your property. 

For example, did you know termites feed 24 hours a day? Did you also know that termite damage costs homeowners nearly $5 billion each year in the US alone?

However, termites aren’t the only destructive pests. Rodents can chew up walls, as well as personal belongings. This includes everything in your storage area, like clothes, photo albums, and other important possessions. 

4. Maximize Your Health and Safety

One of the most important reasons to get a pest control inspection is to protect the health and safety of your family. Rodents are well-known for carrying the Hantavirus. This infectious virus can be spread through rodent urine, feces, and saliva.

It can be inhaled while cleaning up droppings or contracted by being bit by a rodent. Early symptoms of Hantavirus in humans include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. However, these symptoms can escalate to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and even death. 

Other pests, like the brown recluse spider that is common in the south, can be dangerous as well. While their bites aren’t known to be fatal, they can cause a lot of damage to the skin, as well as severe pain and discomfort. 

5. Maintain the Value of Your Home

Professional pest control inspections are important for people who want to maintain the value and quality of their homes. We’ve already discussed how pests can destroy your home, but now we’ll take a look at how that can affect you in the long run. 

Termite damages to structural supports speak for themselves. However, rodent urine and feces can destroy walls and flooring. 

Ultimately these things will lower the market value of your home. When you go to sell your home, refinance, or take out a HELOC, you might be met with disappointment. 

Furthermore, the existence of pests will make it impossible to find an interested buyer. You’ll be hard-pressed to sell your home to someone who’s okay sharing it with bugs or rodents. Just as importantly, there aren’t any lenders out there who will approve funding for homes inhabited by pests. 

6. Pest Remediation is Not Covered By Homeowners Insurance 

Some of us fall into the bad habit of saying, “oh well, insurance will cover it,” when something bad happens to our homes. In truth, insurance does cover a wide range of issues, such as hail damage, fire damage, flood damage (if you have flood insurance), and more. 

However, it might surprise you to learn that professional pest solutions and home repairs based on pest damages are not covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. The reason is that pest control falls under home maintenance issues. 

Therefore, getting regular pest control inspections can help you identify pest problems in their early stages before damages can occur. This will significantly reduce how much money you need to spend on pest remediation and repairs. 

Ready to Get a Pest Control Inspection?

Clearly, there are a lot of good reasons to have your home checked for pests, and this article doesn’t even cover all of them. If you want to protect your home, your family, and your finances, get a pest control inspection today. It can help you prevent future damages and expenses down the road. 

Contact us today to schedule your free inspection. And if we find anything disconcerting, we’ll talk to you about your options. We take pride in helping homeowners like you establish pest-free homes. 

The New Homeowner’s Guide to Getting Rid of Rats

Are you afraid that rats are setting up shop inside of your St. Louis home? Are you new homeowners that are seeing the telltale signs of a rat (or two)?

If so, then you need to learn all about how to get rid of rats the right way. The job isn’t as easy as laying down a trap, it’s going to take a St. Louis professional service to get the job done right.

That said, there are things you can do to help your cause; see below for more information on how to get rid of rats or any other kind of rodents in your house.

1. Know the Signs

When it comes to getting rid of rats in your home, half the battle is coming to grips with the fact that they’re there. Many homeowners refuse to believe it.

If you’re unsure whether or not they’re inside your St. Louis home, then there are a few telltale signs that can help.

One of the most obvious signs is if you notice rat droppings anywhere around your home. These will look like tiny little black pellets and can have as many as 30 to 40 of them in one spot.

That said, they won’t just leave these in plain sight for you to find, so you’ll have to keep a sharp eye out.

The second sign is when you hear scratching sounds coming from your walls. Rats are most active at night, so this is the most likely time you’ll hear the sound of them moving around.

You might also notice tiny footprints on your hard surfaces, which can help you trace them to their primary hiding spot.

There might also be noticeable rat holes in your walls, but don’t expect the rat to just be sitting on the other side of it. They’ve likely established their nest out of arm’s reach, so you’ll have to find a way of dragging them out.

2. Hire Professional Help

If you’re going to shoo those rats out of your house and keep them out, you likely won’t be doing it on your own.

Trying to DIY pest control of any kind can get expensive, but rats are especially tricky. They’re smart and extremely wary of potential danger.

Like we said before, it’s hard to lure them out of their nest and store-bought traps don’t work since they aren’t sensitive enough to how gentle rats can be while nibbling away at the bait. What can you do?

We highly suggest seeking out professional help from a St. Louis pest control company.

We have a rodent management program that can help you scare away any rats in your house and keep them out.

How? By implementing tamper-resistant rodent stations around the outside of your home. We’ll monitor the rats’ activity and spread out additional traps as need be.

This rodent management service works on mice, rats, and voles, and can help you prevent major damage to your property.

It will also lessen the likelihood of illness, as rodents are known to carry harmful diseases (rats especially).

3. Give Your Home a Thorough Cleaning

This isn’t always the case, but rats can sometimes be a sign that an area of your house isn’t as clean as it should be.

That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Those areas are generally in the basement, crawl spaces, or simply in areas of the house that often go unused.

To combat those pesky rats, you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning of your house. Disinfect all of the floors and counters, vacuum the floors, and mop them.

Wash all of your rugs, clothes, and towels. Bleach the bathrooms. Wipe down all of the glass surfaces with glass cleaner.

Bleach is one of the best ways to keep rodents at bay. The chemical scent of bleach is a deterrent for rats, but be careful not to go overboard with it. Those chemicals can also have harmful effects on humans if you use too much.

4. Clean Up After Every Meal

This is more important than ever. If you have a rat problem in your house, then designate one area of your house for your family to eat; whether that be snacks, dinner, lunch, or a protein shake.

Once everyone is finished with their meal, be sure to clean up the mess thoroughly. Wash the dishes, wipe up the crumbs, and scrub the surface as well.

Rats thrive on crumbs and leftover food, so cutting off their supply might lead them to leave your house for more readily available food.

5. Keep It Eco-Friendly

You don’t have to invest in a bevvy of chemical rat poisons to ward off the rodents from your property.

In fact, many experts swear by using natural household ingredients to ward off furry pests.

Rats are notorious for despising spicy smells, so investing in things like cayenne and black pepper is a great way to turn them off to your property.

Rats are heavily dependant on their noses, and the strong, spicy smell of cayenne is enough to send them running for the hills. Do it consistently, and they just might leave the property for good.

Get Rid of Rats in Your St. Louis Home

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to get rid of rats for new homeowners in St. Louis, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Take the time to read this article for more information on the 6 signs of a rodent infestation in your home. To get started, you can reach out to us at 314-373-2847.

What to Consider When Choosing a Termite Control Service

$5 billion, that’s the cost of property damage caused by termites annually. The main cause of this massive termite damages is homeowners’ ignorance. When people notice a termite problem in their properties, they take too long to act.

To mitigate this problem, seek the best termite control service near you. You want to find experts who’ll help you overcome the termite problem you’re facing. With so many companies providing pest control services, it’s hard to determine the best one to choose.

To assist you, here is what to consider when choosing a termite control service.

Check Termite Control Methods

Today you’ll find a wide range of termite control products on sale, with instructions on how to use them. You argue that you can purchase these products and do the work yourself. So, you’ll wonder why waste money seeking a professional termite control service?

You fail to realize that you can buy these termite control products and don’t get the desired results. Besides, it’s a headache comparing these different brands of termite control products in the market. So, you’re highly likely to purchase low-quality products, thereby wasting money.

To solve this problem, hire the top termite control company that uses the tested and proven method. This company has modern termite control equipment that it uses to eradicate this pest problem. Besides, this firm uses eco-friendly termite control products.

Evaluate Certifications

One of the reasons you’ll struggle to get rid of the termites is that you lack the right training. You have no idea how to undertake a thorough pest infestation to determine the spread. Also, you have no idea the effective termite control products to buy or how to use them safely.

That’s why you should look for a certified pest control company in your area. You want a company with highly trained and certified pest exterminators. Therefore, you can trust this expert to help you understand what is attracting termites to your property.

In addition, a certified pest control company knows the best methods to use to eradicate the termite problem you’re facing. This company will guide you to uncover the termite habitats in your property and destroy them. Also, you can rely on this company to educate you on how to avoid a termite’s re-infestation.

Request for Quotes

Many people refuse to seek a professional termite control service as they assume it’s expensive. These people struggle using different pest control products only for the termites to keep coming back. In the long run, these people end up spending a fortune on termite control products without getting desirable results.

It’s wrong to make assumptions on the cost of seeking pest control services without checking. The right approach is to get quotes from various companies that offer these services. Also, you need to have a termite control budget that states how much you can afford to spend on this service.

You want to find a company that has fair rates for the termite control services you need. Also, go for a company that’s transparent about all the fees you’ll pay. Strive to avoid pest control companies with hidden charges.

Read Online Reviews

Reading online reviews is the other way to find the best termite control service. You want to get comments from other property owners who have hired different pest control companies. These people have first-hand experience of what it’s like to work with these companies and what to expect.

You should strive to find a highly reputable pest control company that offers reliable services. This company has many positive reviews from many satisfied homeowners. The reason is that these people are happy that this company helped them overcome the termite problem they were facing.

Also, reading online reviews will help you know about these companies’ charges. Avoid firms that have many negative reviews for overcharging clients. Or that people complain about having many hidden fees.

Examine the Termite Control Service Guarantee

One of your concerns is what if the termite problem reoccurs a few weeks after hiring the expert. You feel that it’s unfair for you to have to pay again for the termite control service. So you want a guarantee when hiring the pest control company.

That’s why you should check the service guarantees that different pest control companies offer. You want a company with a clear and easy-to-understand guarantee. The idea is to know what to do in case of a termite re-infestation.

For instance, the top company will offer termite control service at a lower price in case of a re-infestation before the end of a given period. Or this company may offer regular inspection to detect early when the termites start coming back.

Review Experience Level

The termite control experience is the other thing to check when searching for the best company. The longer a company has been in the industry, the more skilled it is in dealing with pest problems. This company knows the most effective termite control techniques to employ.

That’s why you should look for a pest control company that has been in the industry for at least three years. Also, this company knows how to find all the hidden termites habitats in your house. So you can trust this company to offer a lasting solution to the termite problem you’re facing.

Enjoy a Lasting Solution by Choosing the Best Termite Control Service

It’s costly to repair the property damages caused by termites if you fail to act quickly. So, if you notice this problem, search for the best termite control service. You want to find experts who know the most effective pest control methods.

Besides, the right company will guide you to know the eco-friendly termite control products to use. You want products that are safe for humans and offer amazing results. Also, look for an affordable termite control service.

Call us today for effective termite control services that meet your needs.

Pest Infestation Solved: Call AMCO Ranger

Little makes your skin crawl more than the thought that you have a pest infestation. Maybe it starts with finding tiny little mouse scat in your silverware drawer. Or perhaps you discovered some decking that termites chewed through completely.

Whatever the problem may be, we have your pest infestation solution. Our extensive years of experience and vast knowledge about these pests make us the qualified exterminators you need.

Keep reading to learn about the pests that we deal with and how we will eliminate your pest infestation problem. 

Termites

Termites can live a long time without anyone knowing they’ve infested a building. Drywood termites burrow deep in wooden structures while subterranean termites go underground. Either way, these little buggers can cause some serious damage even before you know they’re there. 

Here are some major warning signs that warrant attention: 

  • Wood that sounds hollow when you tap on it
  • Drooping or discolored drywall
  • Buckling laminate or wooden floorboards
  • Squeaky floorboards
  • Windows or doors that stick
  • Peeling paint with no water damage
  • Pinpoint holes in the drywall
  • Maze-like patterns in floorboards, walls, or furniture
  • Piles of wings that look like fish scales
  • Piles of dry wood termite pellets that look like pepper or salt. 
  • Termites swarming on the property

All of these indicate the not-so-obvious and obvious presence of termites. If you suspect termites, call an exterminator that specializes in residential pest control like Amco Ranger. They will evaluate your property and determine the best course of action. 

Bed Bugs

Bedbugs hide nearly as well as termites. To survive, baby bed bugs need bloodmeal. So you may actually experience bed bug bites before you see the bugs. 

Even then, you may not know you have bedbugs since not all people react to bed bug bites. 

Furthermore, bedbugs can proliferate quickly. They grow by as much as three generations in a year. 

You will not be able to see the juvenile bed bugs, but adult bed bugs are big enough to see with the naked eye.

Fully grown bed bugs are fairly large, the size of an apple seed. They’re wingless, flat, and reddish-brown. They swell up when they’ve finished eating and change to a bright red color. 

Look in the following places for bed bugs: 

  • Bedside tables
  • Loose wallpaper or paneling
  • Headboard
  • Ceiling junctions
  • Wall junctions
  • Creases and crevices in your mattress and along your baseboard
  • Creases in your pillows

Since bedbugs need food, they congregate where humans are. This is why you’re most likely to see them on a mattress or pillow. You also will find their feces as evidence of their presence. 

Amco Ranger knows how to deal with bed bugs so you can sleep soundly again. If you see these symptoms, then contact Amco Ranger. 

Other Services

Though Amco Ranger specializes in termites and bedbugs, they handle all kinds of pests. Here are a few of the services that Amco Ranger offers to its clients. 

Nuisance Wildlife

Wildlife belongs in the wild. So when they show up on your property, they will cause problems. They just don’t know how to respect domestic life. 

We have extensive experience dealing with raccoons, possums, and other wildlife that cause property damage, pose health risks, and create stress. Our techniques will remove the animal and prevent the animal from bothering you again. 

We use humane animal control practices. So if you’re worried that your pest will sustain an injury, rest easy. We know what we’re doing. 

Mole Management

Moles cause damage. Amco Ranger understands how to handle this little destructive creature. We use a variety of techniques. 

Here are the basic steps we take: 

  1. Inspect the area where you suspect a mole infestation
  2. Identify the active tunnels so we can treat them
  3. Treat the area with a proven bait or trap
  4. Visit the area again to monitor progress and prevent further infestations

Moles can completely destroy your lawn if you do not get a handle on them. Amco Ranger has designed a Mole Management Program that brings us back to your home regularly. We will find the moles and eliminate them no matter how many return visits we need to make. 

Lawn Care Services 

Amco Ranger technicians understand the importance of your lawn. Thus we offer second-to-none lawn service. We will control your weeds and fertilize your lawn so you have a beautiful, green yard once again. 

Here is the range of services our lawn care division performs: 

  • Weed control
  • Aeration
  • Dethatch
  • Fertilization
  • Soil Sterilization
  • Seeding

As you can see, Amco Ranger not only eliminates pests, but they take care of your entire property. 

Attic Insulation

Amco Ranger also will take care of your attic if pests have wreaked havoc on it. Pests will damage insulation and create an unsanitary environment in the attic. 

Amco uses InCide Pest Control Insulation. This unique insulation contains sodium polyborate, an effective pesticide.

This ingredient keeps insects at bay and prevents infestations. Insects that ingest even a small amount of InCide will die immediately. Here are the perks of InCide in your attic: 

  • Odorless
  • Reduces your heating and cooling costs
  • Does not itch
  • Flame resistant
  • Protects your home from pests
  • Reduces air infiltration
  • Meets federal standards

Furthermore, InCide comes with a product warranty. So if you’re not happy with it, you’re covered. The active ingredients are safe for pets and humans and will not cause annoying side effects.

It also resists mold and mildew growth. The fire retardant nature of the insulation also slows down a fire should one break out in your home. 

Call Pest Infestation Pros For Help

If you suspect a pest infestation, contact us. As you can see we care deeply about our customers. Amco is a local, family-owned business. 

Since our founding in 1965, we have protected homes against pests and kept families safe. We are committed to green solutions and controlling pests in a responsible way. 

You can trust us to provide you with a safe, sound, and environmentally safe pest management solution. Call us today. 

5 Signs Your New Home Has a Rodent Problem (Plus What to Do About It)

If you think you have a rodent problem in your home, you’re far from alone. In fact, an estimated 83% of households have mice allergens in them. 

Mice need to find shelter, especially in the colder months of the year. If your house happens to be the closest and you’re always cooking delicious meals inside, then they might see this as the place to set up camp.

Regardless of the type of rodent, they can cause you lots of problems. Let’s talk about how to determine if you have a rodent problem and what you can do about it.

Signs You Have A Rodent Problem: Droppings

Droppings are the number one tell-all for rodents. Mice or rats, like all animals, leave their droppings behind. They will look like tiny little pellets. Fresh ones will be dark and moist, drying out and lightening over time. This will give you an idea of how long ago they were there.

In a new home, it’s important to check this. They could have been from years ago and the previous owners just never cleaned the spot where you found the droppings. Check any dark, concealed places like under the sink, under the refrigerator, under equipment in the basement, and anywhere else they could be hiding.

Gnawing Marks

Do you leave your butter on the counter? Ever noticed a piece missing from it?

Check wires, food that’s left out, drywall, or anything else that you notice. If you see gnaw marks on the stuff you recently brought into your new home, rather than what was already there, that’s a pretty good indicator that the rodent problem is there.

Watch Your Pets

Dogs, but especially cats, will be very attracted to the scent of these little creatures. If you have pets, watch them. They will likely notice these friends before you will, and even sniff them out. If it’s bad enough that you can smell it, then it’s probably an active infestation.

If your cat is sitting close and staring at a hole in the wall or under the refrigerator for a long period of time, maybe even growling, they may have found a snack!

Scratching Noises

If you’re losing sleep because you’re hearing scratching noises in the night, this is a pretty good sign that you have a rodent problem. We know that can be terrifying in a new home but rest assured, your new house isn’t haunted! Mice and rats both scratch on wood and drywall, and if you’ve heard it, you know it’s definitely audible when there’s no other noise!

Nests

Mice will use any soft material to make a nest for their young. Fabric, paper, plant material, cotton, or whatever they can find. You may find it in an old sleeping bag you have in the basement, or you could find it under a panel in your cabinets.

Finding one doesn’t mean the infestation is currently active unless it is found in equipment that you brought into the new home. If you’re still shopping around for a house, look for all of these signs before you purchase and take it into account. Don’t let it be your only deciding factor, as there are plenty of ways to deal with a rodent problem!

How To Handle A Rodent Problem

If you’re still not 100% certain you have a rodent problem, put some flour or baby powder in the regions where you think they reside. They will leave tracks for you to judge later on. Remember, rats and mice are nocturnal. Before you go to bed, just sprinkling some powder down around the fridge, on the counters, or anywhere else you think is necessary. If you wake up and see tracks, that’s a definite.

Well, in that case, it’s time to solve that problem! While rodents are tiny, they often carry diseases that can be harmful or even lethal to humans. They also pose fire hazards as they are known for chewing through things like wires or gas lines. Here’s what you can do.

Traps

Traps can work if you don’t mind clearing them! If you want to be humane about it, avoid using glue traps. You may not like your furry house guests, but you don’t want them to suffer. Spring traps and traps that allow you to release them elsewhere (alive) are the most humane and often even cheaper!

Rats are even harder to trap than mice, as they are a lot smarter than mice. The traps have to be a lot bigger and more enticing, and they can’t scare them off!

Repellent

Rodent repellent can be effective if you use it in the right places. You can try putting mothballs and rodent control sprays in places you think they reside. However, traps are totally inefficient if you have rodents living in your walls.

Professional Services

Honestly, you can lay down traps all day but mice breed really fast. Often a lot faster than you can clear and reset your traps. While rats are often too smart, many mice are even hesitant to use traps, which eliminates the possibility of catching the more clever ones!

If you want the job done right, you have to call in the experts. If you’re only trapping individual rodents, you’ll never stop the root cause alone. Rodent exterminator services can even close the entryways that rodents use to get into your house in the first place. 

Say Your Goodbyes

Now that you know how to check for and handle a rodent problem, remember that they breed quickly! The sooner you get help, the better.

Keep up to date with our latest pest control news, and find out what to do if your new home has termites!

What to Do When You Find Raccoons in Your Yard

The raccoon (affectionately nicknamed the “trash panda”) is native to North America and has been an ever-present critter in our lives. In fact, the first urban sighting was during the 1920s in Cincinnati, OH!

These animals are opportunistic scavengers, which explains why they’ve become such a familiar face in many neighborhoods. They’re also quite intelligent, which makes for some fun observations.

If you have raccoons in your yard, they might be amusing to watch at first. But the truth is, they’re a nuisance and are considered pests!

Are you now wondering what to do if you have raccoons in your yard? Read on to find out more!

Pick Up Fallen Fruits and Nuts

The number one reason why raccoons are attracted to a property is because of food. Remember: they’re opportunistic scavengers, so if they deem your yard as a rich food source, they’ll make themselves right at home.

While your trees and bushes are beautiful and give you delicious fruits and nuts, you’ll want to pick them in time. Otherwise, when they fall onto the ground, not only will this attract raccoons, but also other pests that are attracted to these treats.

So if you notice any of these tasty things on the ground, pick them up straight away.

Clean up Your Yard

While you’re picking up fruits and nuts in your yard, take some time to clean it up as well. When it comes to how to get rid of raccoons in your yard, this is one of the best methods. That’s because you’re getting rid of all possible nest sites, as well as eliminating easy ways for these pests to get onto your roof.

Don’t Leave Pet Food Outside

Does your puppy or kitty have a pet dish outside? It can be nice for them to eat out in the nice sun and gentle breeze. But raccoons will definitely be attracted to this free food!

The good news is, raccoons are nocturnal, so you can leave the dishes out during the day. However, you need to bring these dishes inside before the sun sets. Otherwise, you’ll be leaving out a buffet for these critters!

While we’re on the topic of pet food, you should also consider your bird feeders if you have any. There are some ways to deter raccoons, such as using shepherd’s hooks with pole baffles, or using hanging baffles. You can also bring in your bird feeders after dark.

Secure Your Trash Cans

Raccoons have a strong sense of smell and are smart creatures. They’ll be able to smell all your food scraps sitting in your trash can outside, and you can bet that they’ll get their paws on them if they can!

Trash cans with loose-fitting lids will be easy for these pests to get into. So you’ll want to replace them with heavy lids and/or tie down the lids so they can’t be opened without untying the cord or wire.

Fence off Other Food Sources

If you have a compost pile, garden, and/or pond, these are other places raccoons might try to find food in. To keep them out, fence these areas off.

Raccoons can dig under fences easily, so consider using an electric fence. It might sound cruel, but there are ones made with low enough voltage that all they’ll do is give the animals a small zap, which will discourage them from going any further.

Install Motion-Activated Speakers

Loud noises will scare any animal, and this includes raccoons! So you can get yourself some motion-activated speakers to place in your yard so when they come skulking about, they’ll be surprised with a loud noise from your speakers, such as a raccoon distress call or a dog barking.

If you get frequent raccoon visitors, then these speakers might annoy you and/or your neighbors. In that case, you might want to consider getting a speaker that emits low or high frequency noises that humans can’t hear. You’ll enjoy peace and quiet while the raccoons are deterred by the unpleasant sounds.

Get Help From a Pest Control Company

If you’ve tried all the above methods and raccoons are still calling your house their home, then it’s time to bring out the big guns.

A pest control company can come remove raccoons from your property in a safe manner. This will eliminate the need for you to try and remove them yourself.

On that note, you should never try and remove raccoons from your property on your own since they may have rabies. If you get scratched or bitten by these animals, there’s a chance you might get rabies as well. Not to mention, these wounds can be painful, and dealing with wild animals can be scary!

What’s even better about using pest control services is these experts won’t just remove raccoons from your property. They’ll also check it out and create a tailored plan so you can keep raccoons away.

Prevention is a key part of pest control, yet many fail to keep up with this action. When you have the help of pest control pros, they can remove raccoons and keep them away too!

We’ll Take Care of Raccoons in Your Yard

Raccoons in your yard might be fun at first. But you’ll soon realize that they’re an annoying pest that you need to get rid of.

So if you suspect there are some trash pandas on your property, or if you’ve actually spotted one (or a few), then you need the touch of a pest control company such as Amco Ranger. Not only can our expert team get rid of raccoons, but we can also put some effective prevention techniques into use to keep your home safe and sound.

If you’re thinking, “oh no, there’s a raccoon in my yard,” you need to act fast. Get in touch with us now to get a free quote and to schedule an inspection. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed!

5 Early Warning Signs for Spotting Bed Bugs

While bed bugs are generally not dangerous, they’re considered a public health pest. Bed bugs don’t carry diseases, but they can still cause negative effects on your health.

Bed bugs are common pests that feed on human blood and hide in household furniture. Some people can have an allergic reaction to bites from bed bugs. Secondary skin infections may also develop from the bite like impetigo or ecthyma.

The mental health of people living in infested homes can also suffer. Anxiety and insomnia are some of the reported effects.

Spotting the early signs of bed bugs can save you from the worse trouble of an infestation. Read on to know about bed bugs and their five early warning signs.

Identifying Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can resemble other insects. Knowing how to identify bed bugs helps distinguish them from other critters. It allows you to save time, money, and prevent more stress.

Adult bed bugs have a light or reddish-brown color. Depending on the lighting, they can also appear black. They can be hard to see since they move fast.

Bed bugs are small and have flat, oval-shaped bodies. They’re about 4 to 5 mm in diameter.

They have six legs and two antennae. Their segmented bodies have tiny hairs that give them a striped look.

Younger bed bugs or nymphs are translucent and can look white or light brown. After feeding, they turn bright red. It fades to brown before finally becoming black.

Bed bugs feed on blood and they change color as they digest it. If they didn’t feed, they look flat. Otherwise, their backs rise in response to sustenance.

Like all other insects, bed bugs have an exoskeleton as a hard shell. It means they molt, shedding their exoskeletons as they grow.

Fiver Early Signs of Bed Bugs

Now you know what bed bugs look like, it’s time to learn the early signs of their presence. Most don’t realize they have a bed bug infestation until they see the actual bed bugs. Spotting them early is better than getting rid of well-nested bed bugs.

1. Shells and Eggs

Since bed bugs shed their exoskeletons as they grow, they leave their old shells behind. You might find these casings around your bed. Finding bed bug skin is a sure sign that there are bed bugs in your house.

You might also notice bed bug eggs. They’re white and usually come in clusters. 

Bed bug eggs are smaller than the actual insect, meaning you’ll likely fail to notice them without further inspection. However, if you find eggs and bed bug casings, it’s a clear sign of an infestation.

2. Itchiness from their Bites

One of the other sure and early signs of bed bugs is on your skin. When bed bugs bite, you’ll feel some itchiness. Fortunately, bed bug bites don’t carry diseases. However, they’re irritating and inconvenient.

Your exposed body areas are vulnerable to bed bug bites. These will often be your arms, neck, or head. Bed bug bites usually look like small, raised, red spots on the skin.

They might also show up a day or two after the bite. It can also form distinct patterns on your skin, often manifesting as a line. It helps distinguish them from flea or mosquito bites.

Your skin’s reaction also depends on the bed bug’s type. Some cause an extreme reaction while others won’t. It’s also possible to start feeling the bite’s itch a week later.

3. Bloodstains on Your Sheets

There are three reasons why humans attract bed bugs. Our body heat, carbon dioxide from our exhalations, and blood. Since blood is their primary food source, they stuff themselves whenever they feed.

As such, one telltale sign of bed bugs is seeing small red stains on your sheets or pajamas after waking.

Two things can cause these bloodstains. You might roll onto the bed bugs in your sleep and crush them in the process. Otherwise, it’s a residue of their feeding frenzy.

If you wake with these stains on your bed, consider calling for pest control. If you don’t, you’ll suffer from continued harassment from these vermin.

4. Dark, Rust-Colored Spots on Your Mattress or Walls

If you often find dark, rust-colored stains on your mattress, these are likely bed bug excrement. Test if the brown specks are either bed bug droppings or old ink stains. Smear it with water since ink stains won’t spread.

Your mattress isn’t the only place where you might find bed bug droppings. They can also leave stains on walls or under wallpapers. Inspect these places to ensure they’re free from these specks.

Bed bugs usually leave fecal stains as soon as they reach sufficient numbers. Try examining your bed or nearby walls for suspicious stains. If you find them, don’t waste time and call for pest control.

5. A Musty Odor

Another sign of bed bug presence is an unexplained damp and musty odor in your home. You might notice the smell only around your bed area. However, you might also come from other nearby pieces of furniture.

Some people say that the odor is comparable to moldy clothing or a wet dog. It comes from the pheromones they release. Note that in general, the stronger the smell, the larger the infestation likely is.

Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation Now

Bed bugs may not be dangerous, but they’re stressful to live with. Bed bugs feed on our blood, reducing the quality of our sleep. Identifying the early signs of bed bugs can help prevent an infestation.

Observe if there are any casings or eggs in your bed. Dark spots on your mattress and walls as well as a musty odor are suspicious signs. If you wake up with itchy bite marks, consider calling a professional.

Looking for pest control services? Contact us today and we can help you prevent a worse bed bug infestation in your home.

The Dangers of Having a Rodent Infestation in Your Home

What can go longer than a camel without drinking water? 

Rats!

Out in nature, rodents are incredible creatures that we can learn a lot from. They have sharp memories, peculiar social tendencies, and interesting decision-making processes. However, when rats and mice start taking up residence in your home, they can ruin your life in a matter of days.  

What are the top rodent infestation dangers you should be aware of? Read on to find out!

Rodent Infestation Dangers

When you think of the dangers of a rodent infestation, sickness is probably the first threat that pops into your mind. However, it’s also important to consider all of the damage that rodents can cause to your home. 

For instance, mice and rats are notorious for their constant need to chew things. If you have a mouse infestation in your home, you might start to notice chew marks on your drywall or plastic pipes throughout the house.

If you’re hearing scattering sounds in the attic that sound louder than mice or rats, it could be squirrels. Similar to mice and rats, squirrels pose a variety of health and property damage risks.

Outdoor Exposure

When mice chew through the rubber, plastic pipes, insulation, and drywall, it opens up your home to a variety of damages. For starters, other insects and varmin can wind up entering your home through the newly chewed openings. 

Fire Risk

When mice start chewing through things like wires, the risk of a fire happening goes way up. You’d also be increasing the chances of problems like carbon monoxide poisoning happening. 

The moment you notice damage from a rodent infestation, such as open holes, you’ll want to seal them up right away. The sooner you seal the holes up, the faster you’ll be able to protect your family and home from damage.

Lost Food

What’s your grocery bill look like every month? The average person needs anywhere between $165 -$ 345 worth of groceries a month. If you’re buying food for a large family, you can easily spend thousands a month on groceries. However, if you have a rodent infestation in your home, you could wind up spending all of that money for nothing! 

One of the first places rodents takes over is the kitchen. From your food pantry to the cereal in your cabinet, there isn’t a safe food place when rodents are around. The moment rodents come into contact with your food, you have to throw it away. 

Even if there aren’t rodent feces in the food, the exposure to the rodents makes the food dangerous. Since it can be difficult to determine what food the rodents touched, you could wind up having to throw away everything that’s not in the fridge. 

What to Do if You Have Rodents in Your Home

The second you realize there’s a rodent infestation, but all of your sealed food into your fridge. Next, call in the professionals so you can stop a bad situation from becoming worse. A matter of hours can make the difference between hundreds vs thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Contracting the Hantavirus

Next, let’s talk about a life-threatening disease that rodents can transmit to humans. The hantavirus is a well-known disease that’s primarily transmitted to humans through rodents. White-footed deer mice are particularly notorious for transmitting the hantavirus. 

How do you catch the hantavirus, exactly? It has to do with the waste rodents leave behind. Rodent saliva, droppings, and urine can all transmit the disease. When you’re exposed to rodent droppings, or you inhale fumes from their waste, your risk of catching the disease goes up. 

If you live in a small area that has a rodent infestation, the danger becomes even worse. Side effects of contracting the virus include dizziness, body chills, headaches, and stomach problems.

Bubonic Plague and Salmonella

Next, 2 other types of sicknesses rodents can transmit are the bubonic plague and salmonella. The bubonic plague earned the name “ The Black Death” during the Middle ages. The well-earned name is thanks to the low survival rate of the European population when the bubonic plague hit during the Middle ages.

Catching the bubonic plague is very easy when there’s a rodent infestation. All it takes is one bite from a rodent flea that has the virus, and you could die in a matter of days. 

Next, you’ve probably heard of salmonella when you hear people talk about food poisoning. While salmonella is a type of food poisoning, it’s also a type of poisoning that can be spread through rodent feces.

For instance, if the mice get into your food in the pantry and it becomes contaminated with rodent feces, eating that food could give you salmonella. The symptoms of salmonella include stomach pain, diarrhea, and extreme fever.

Fevers Caused by Rodents

Lastly, let’s talk about a couple of the different fevers that rodents can cause. For starters, there’s a sickness called rat-bite fever.

Rat-bite fever spreads when you come into contact with a dead rodent, or if you’re bit or scratched by a living rodent. You can also contract rat-bite fever if you eat or drink water that’s been contaminated by rat feces. 

If left untreated rat-bite fever can be a fatal disease. Symptoms of rat-bite fever include vomiting, muscle pain, rash, and of course fever. 

Next, a specific species of a rat can cause Lassa fever. A multi-mammate rat can have the Lassa fever virus, and it’s most common in West Africa. It’s easy to catch Lassa fever when you’re in an environment where rodents are present. 

All it takes is inhaling dust that’s been in contact with infected rodent urine, and you can catch Lassa fever. Symptoms of the virus can take a few weeks to show up. 

Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue, respiratory problems, and neurological issues. Sadly, a lot of patients wind up passing away from multi-organ failure after catching Lassa fever.

Protect Your Home and Family

Let’s face it, the dangers of a rodent infestation are terrifying! However, there is good news. By getting swift help from a team of professionals, you can once again reclaim the safety of your home.

If you’re dealing with pests in your home, don’t wait to take action. Reach out to one of our team members today, and let us tell you how we can help. For more tips like these, check out another one of our articles.

Watch Out: 6 Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Home

What’s the sound? Does it smell odd in here? 

Knowing the signs of rodent infestation is essential if you want to catch them before they begin to multiply rapidly. Rodents can, unfortunately, cause significant damage to a home, so it’s best to rid your home of them as soon as possible. 

As cold weather settles in, so do the rodents, looking for shelter from the cold. How will you know if you’re dealing with a rodent infestation? What are the signs of rodent infestation?

In the guide below, there are several signs of a rodent problem to keep in mind. Continue reading below to find out more and take your home back before the rodents take over. 

1. Strange Odors

Did you know that rodents leave behind a musky odor? They do! As unpleasing as this might be, there’s one benefit of rodents’ stinky odors: you’ll be able to catch them quicker. 

If you notice any stale odors coming from hidden-away places, then this could be a hiding place for the rodents. As your rodent problem worsens, the odor will worsen as well. Noticing a strange odor that becomes stronger over time might be a sign that it’s time to call in the professionals

Once a rodent dies, it also gives off a strong foul odor. Any dead rodents will need to be removed from your home immediately to prevent the spread of disease. If you find a dead rodent and want to remove it yourself, make sure to wear both gloves and a mask. 

2. Small Chew Marks

Rodents love to chew on just about anything. They’ll gnaw on materials around the house such as paper products, food packaging, and wires. They’ll even gnaw on the structure of your home as well. 

Although finding chewed-up belongings is less than ideal, you can use these chew marks to your advantage. Chew marks can give you some insight into how current the infestation is. Older chew marks will be darker while newer chew marks are lighter in color. 

If you have one older chew mark you know about, then try to compare it to a newly found chew mark to determine if one happened more recently than the other. You can also use chew marks to determine if you have mice or rats. Rats will have larger chew marks than mice. 

3. Unusual Pet Behavior

Having pets in the home is beneficial for several reasons. One of those reasons is that your pets might notice some signs of a rodent infestation before you do. Pay close attention to strange behavior from your pets.

That foul odor we discussed earlier will trigger your pets to search for rodents. Your pets may even hear the rodents running in the walls or scratching. When your pets begin having unusual behavior, make a note about what area in the house they seem to be interested in. 

Grab a flashlight and then inspect the area where your pets seem interested. You may find a rodent infestation. 

4. Rodent Tracks and Holes

Sometimes, rodents will leave tracks behind them as they move around. Be on the lookout for small footprints where dust might collect. Don’t hesitate to search up high.

A great way to discover rodent tracks is to take a flashlight and inspect areas where you believe rodents might be running back and forth. With the help of your flashlight, you might uncover footprints, urine stains, and even droppings. If you’re unable to detect signs of rodent tracks but believe there’s an infestation, then one trick to consider is using baby powder. 

Lay a light layer of baby powder down in areas where you believe they might be using as their paths. The baby powder will uncover footprints more easily. 

They’ll also chew holes in your home’s structure to create new entry points.

5. Rodent Droppings

Although you might not want to think about it, if there are rodents in your home, there are rodent droppings in your home. The size and shape of the rodent dropping will depend on the type of rodent it is. Mice will have smaller droppings than rats.

Rats will have droppings of different sizes and shapes depending on the type of rat. If you see rat droppings in your home, then you know there’s a problem. Be sure to clean the droppings using gloves and a mask. 

Fresh droppings will be dark in color and moist. Older droppings will be dried out, grey in color, and will crumble easily. Some common places to find droppings are as follow:

  • under sinks
  • in the cupboards
  • near food packaging
  • inside drawers
  • in hidden areas

You’ll find the most droppings where the rodents are nesting. 

6. Surface Grease Marks

Rodents fur holds oils that will wipe off onto the walls of your home when they run past them. Be on the lookout for grease marks and streaks on a variety of surfaces in the home. If you find grease marks, then you may be able to follow them to where the rodents are entering your home from.

If you then find nesting materials, such as chewed-up paper products then you may have found their nest or have come close to it. 

Know the Signs of Rodent Infestation and Take Action

When you know the signs of rodent infestation, you can take action quickly before the problem intensifies. Unfortunately, rodents will multiple when not removed from your home and the infestation will worsen. Use the information listed in this guide to determine if your home has a rodent infestation.

When you’re still unsure, or you need the professionals to remove the rodents from your home, be sure to contact AMCO Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions. 

Schedule your free inspection today!

Termite Damage: This Is What They Can Do to Your Home

 

Termites cause homeowners an estimated $5 billion a year in damage repair, a figure that may make you cringe if you’ve ever suffered an infestation.

From moisture and mold to extensive mazes within a home’s structure, these tiny pests are nothing to laugh at. Termite damage can range from moderate harm—when caught early—to severe cases that require considerable repairs. If you’re wondering where an infestation could leave you, here’s what you should know about what termites can do to a house.

Mild to Moderate Types of Termite Damage to Look For

Once termites first make their way into your home, it may take some time before they do enough damage for you to notice. After you’ve spotted the signs of an infestation, here’s what to expect in terms of the minor damages.

Jamming Windows and Doors

If you know much about termite prevention, you may already know that moisture makes it easier for termites to digest the wood in your home. However, one of the effects of termites is further moisture creation. When termites soften the wood as they tunnel, or when their droppings spread across an area, it encourages more moisture.

This can cause your windows and doors to warp and buckle in their frames. The result is often that the door or window is difficult to open. Over time, you may even find it impossible to operate them, requiring a complete replacement.

Blistered Wood

Subterranean termites can cause wood damage that looks a little like water damage. Blisters across the wood, especially on the walls or floor, can be a sign that termites are feeding directly underneath. If you know that your property hasn’t sustained water damage, this can be a clear sign that you have termites.

In addition, keep an eye out for paint that appears to be bubbling or peeling. For wooden surfaces with a coat of paint, the blistering may warp the paint layer in noticeable ways.

Buckling Wood

Added moisture in the home can cause the wood around the area of the infestation to slowly buckle and bend with time. From floorboards to wood molding to furniture, buckling wood is a common type of early damage you’ll see.

Mud Tubes

These are one of the most obvious signs of termite damage. Mud tubes are small raised lines on a wall, ceiling, or floor, and they’re designed to protect termites and help them get around. They can be anywhere from the thickness of a pencil to an inch wide, and they’re made of soil, wood, and termite saliva.

Major Types of Termite Damage

Some of the damage termites do to your home can be a major headache, requiring extensive repairs or replacements. Here are a few of the more worrying types of damage you might see:

Hollowed Wood

Certain termite species, especially drywood termites, will consume wood from the inside out. This is why it can be so difficult to detect these infestations. Hollowed wood can be a major source of damage for homeowners, especially when there’s just a thin layer of wood left on the outside of the surface.

Bulging Ceilings, Walls, and Floors

As we’ve said above, with moisture comes slight buckling—but these small buckles can worsen in time. With certain types of walls, floors, and ceilings, you might start to notice further swelling over time. This is a sign of structural damage that you’ll need to repair before the area cracks or caves in.

Mazes in Wood

As they eat away at the wood of your home, termites can create unusual, maze-like tunneling patterns that damage your wood. You may also notice tiny holes in your walls, about the size of a pushpin, which may indicate a maze beneath the surface.

Where to Look for Termite Damage

More often than not, you’ll notice termite damage because you’ve spotted something unusual within your own home. However, once you see the first indications of damage, you shouldn’t assume that it’s limited to one specific place in your home. Instead, it’s a good idea to do a quick inspection to see if there are any other areas that the infestation has reached.

Around Your Window and Door Frames

In most homes, the frames of windows and doors are made of wood. Check for termite damage in these areas by inspecting the quality of the wood. If necessary, you can compare a frame with a possible infestation to the frames of other windows and doors in your home.

Look for wood that appears crumbly or soft. You should also rap on it to see if it feels hollow.

Within Your Foundation Wall and Structural Wood

Though often overlooked by homeowners, foundation wall damage can be a major headache. It’s also a common place where termites will build mud tubes, as it allows them to form a colony in a quieter space while traveling elsewhere in your home for food. Lines of any type on your foundation wall are a sign to call an expert.

In Your Crawlspace

Most homeowners have little reason to enter their crawlspace on a regular basis, which is why many of the worst types of home damage take root there: hidden issues can go unseen for a long time! As far as termites go, however, you should look for mud tubes, mazes eaten through wood, and other signs of damage listed above.

Inside of Your Home

Termites may start eating away at the wood outside or under your home, but they’ll eventually make their way into your living areas as well. For major infestations, it’s important to check your wood furniture, walls, and any other wooden elements of your home. Drywood termites in particular tend to cause a great deal of damage inside the home, so take a careful look around for signs of damage.

Termite Protection Solutions That Work

If you’ve noticed signs of damage or seen an infestation yourself, it’s time to call for help before the termite damage grows worse.

Getting rid of termites in homes is one of our specialties, and we offer the solutions you need to protect your home from harm. Missouri homeowners have a history of trusting Amco Ranger to take care of their property, so contact us for a free inspection today!