Winter Pests in New Jersey

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With fall and the colder temperatures upon us now is the time to pest-proof your home from rodents and other overwintering pests like boxelder bugs and stink bugs. Time spent performing exclusion around your home will help to ensure you are not dealing with pests all winter long. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

When it comes to rodents, stink bugs and boxelder bugs, exclusion really does work. Simply shutting your windows and doors will not keep these pests out! In the fall, these bugs are looking for ways into your home. The passage into your home can be very small, so you need to look at your home like a small insect would look at your home. You need to find the cracks, small holes, and crevices in which these bugs can get it. Don’t forget to examine window screens and weather strips around doors that may be old and in need of replacement. The whole perimeter of the home should be investigated.

If boxelder bugs have been a nuisance in your NJ home in the past, make sure to pay special attention to the south side of the structure. Boxelder bugs congregate on the south side of buildings seeking out warmth from the sunshine. As the weather continues to turn colder, boxelder bugs will look for a way inside of the home.

Properly sealing cracks and crevices into the home is your best course of preventative action against boxelder bugs. One of the best ways to seal cracks and keep pests out it to use silicone or silicon-latex caulk. The caulk will fill the entire hole so that the pests are not able to squeeze through.

Don’t have time to properly seal the cracks around your home? Don’t worry, Trius this fall! Trius Pest Management offers a fall exclusion program for NJ Homeowners. Exclusion is a key step in following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to pests. By preventing pests from entering your home you can reduce the use of pesticides used in and around the home. An IPM approach to pests with a focus on prevention is safer for your family and the environment. Call us today to learn more about our Fall Exclusion Program.

Identifying Spiders in Your New Jersey Home

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Although there are approximately thirty varieties of spiders here in New Jersey, three of the more commonly found varieties are the American House Spider, the Yellow Sac Spider, and the Wolf Spider. These three varieties of spiders look and act differently from one another which should aide in their identification.

American house spiders are comb-footed spiders. They have long, skinny legs with hair on their ankles. They are extremely common throughout North America. They are known for building tangled “Halloween-like” webs in secluded locations like closets and corners in homes. Their webs often house eggs contained in one or more spherical sacs. Their coloring is usually muted with patterns consisting of brown shades for coloration. They are usually only a quarter-inch long. Because of their relatively small size and dull coloring they often escape from notice by people. Generally speaking, these spiders are not aggressive. They rarely ever bite people and their venom is not dangerous. In fact, in many situations when this spider feels threatened it will “play dead.”

Unlike the passive nature of the American house spider, the yellow sac spider probably accounts for more spider bites than any other spider in the area and their bites may be misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites by health care professionals. These spiders are a light yellow to cream color, with their jaws, the tips of their tarsi, and their palps being dark brown in color. Yellow sac spiders are “active hunters,” which means they hunt their prey instead of capturing it on a web. Yellow sac spiders use their webs to deposit their eggs in June or July. The eggs are loosely deposited around the web. The female spider will remain near the web in order to guard her eggs.

Another spider that does not catch its prey by using a web is the wolf spider. Unlike the yellow sac spider, wolf spiders are not known to be aggressive, but they will bite in self-defense. The wolf spider is larger than the other two spiders, in fact, they are large enough that homeowners have mistaken them for escaped pet tarantulas. Wolf spiders normally enter a house near ground level. They are most often encountered in basements, crawlspaces, and breezeways.

If you are noticing a high number of spiders in your New Jersey home, Trius Pest can help. Our quarterly preventative services creates a protective barrier around your home that keeps spiders and other pests out. Learn more at http://triuspest.com/quarterly/.

Nesting Squirrels in New Jersey

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Although the days are still warm, the nights are getting colder, and trees are losing their leaves. Fall is in the air. This is the season we prepare for the winter by getting out our warmer bedding out, checking to make sure winter coats still fit, and covering our outdoor furniture. Squirrels in New Jersey are also using this season to prepare for winter; they are storing their food and making sure they have a safe shelter away from the elements. Their efforts don’t affect us much unless they find that safe shelter in our home.

For most people, squirrels are the most likeable member of the rodent family.

Unlike rats and mice, many people genuinely enjoy watching squirrels romp around in their yards. They do not illicit the screams of fear that mice and rats create. For many people squirrels are clever furry creatures that are fun to watch. If you have ever seen a squirrel in action you know that they are both smart and amazingly acrobatic. These two characteristics make them fun to watch but at the same time difficult to keep out of your house.

Squirrels are excellent acrobats and builders. They use three different types of nests: summer dreys, winter dreys, and dens. Dreys consist of leaves and twigs fixed high in treetops. Summer dreys have few layers and provide minimal protection from the elements. Winter dreys consists of many layers of interwoven twigs with an inner layer of softer material such as moss, fur, grass, and “found” materials. These are often used when dens are in short supply. Tree dens, in hollow trees, are the most sought after place for squirrels to spend the winter and raise their young. But squirrels are smart; if a tree den is not available and they have the choice to stay in a warm attic or spend their whole fall working feverously to make a drey, they will choose to nest in an attic.

So what can a homeowner do to prevent squirrels from invading their home? There are three tips to keep squirrels out your New Jersey home: seal, cover, and trim.

Seal the gaps. As with all rodents, you should try to seal all possible entry points around your home. Take special care to seal openings where utility cables or pipes enter your home. It may be fun to watch a squirrel do a tight-rope act on the utility lines, but they can uses these wires to get to your house!

Cover your attic vents and chimney. To screen these areas it is best to use quarter inch or half inch hardware cloth. Hardware cloth is available from most hardware and big box stores. It is important to use a wire hardware cloth, not a mesh cloth.

Trim your trees. Squirrels are excellent acrobats and can leap long distances. Squirrels are naturally in trees looking for shelter so it is easy for them to go from the trees to your attic if trees are within a close proximity to your house. To make it difficult for squirrels to do this make sure all tree limbs are cut back six to eight feet from the roofline.

Prevention is the best medicine, but sometimes no matter how hard you try, squirrels will get into your home. If that happens, contact Trius Pest Management today. You may call or request a FREE Estimate

Termite Awareness Week

Termite Awareness Week is March 15th – March 21st, 2015

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A few facts about Termites

  • Termites cause over $5 billion in damage to U.S. homes each year.
  • One small termite colony of approximately 60,000 termites can eat a linear foot of a common 2″ x 4″ in just five months.
  • Swarming can begin in January in the South, April, May or June in the North.
  • Colonies can contain from several thousand to several million foragers.
  • Almost 4 million U.S. homes are infested by termites each year.
  • Termites can be found in every state except for Alaska.
  • Termites on Earth outweigh humans on Earth.
  • Some sources indicate that termites have been here for about 250 million years, according to some estimates.
  • Termite queens live for 15 to 25 years, and can lay an egg every 15 seconds.