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While you might have the urge to swat any bug that enters your home, its best to think twice before swatting any pest that seems unfamiliar. This is because you may have stumbled across a stink bug. These shield-shaped pests emit a horrible smell when bothered. The odor is to help deter predators, but the worst part is that it also attracts even more of these bugs. Stink bugs can appear nearly all year round and are a real pain when they start hanging around in your house. Whether they are seeking for shelter during the colder months or have decided to intrude in your garden, they are not a pleasure to have around. Nobody wants to have a foul odor lingering around. And oh boy, does the odor linger. So, lets see what we can do on how to get rid of stink bugs.
These shield-shaped pests emit a horrible smell when bothered
The most common form of stink bugs that terrorize the home are a brownish/gray color with little patches of copper or blue on the heads. These shield bugs have little straight antennae sticking out and can be easily recognized. So, when you encounter one, be careful to not activate its stench. Because if you kill it and the odor hits, it will attract even more of these pests. Here are some steps you can take on how to get rid of stink bugs.
Stink bugs are a brownish color with little patches of copper or blue on the heads
Stink bugs can get inside through pretty much any possible entry point. This includes any openings and cracks. Make sure to check out parts of your door and window frames for any cracks, as well as wood sidings. There may also be entry points around outlets and light fixtures. Add screens to your windows, door-seal kits and use caulk to seal up any cracks.
Make sure to check out parts of your door and window frames for any cracks
Like many bugs, these pests are also attracted to light. Especially outside porch lights, so make sure to turn them off. However, if you need outside lights swap out your bulbs for yellow ones, or sodium vapor lights. Bugs find these types of lights much less attractive. Try to also pull down your blinds during the evening, so as little light as possible spills out.
Like many bugs, these pests are also attracted to light
Like gnats, stink bugs love their overripe fruits, garbage disposals and trash cans. So, a way on how to get rid of stink bugs is to dispose of any food sources. Make sure to always keep your food in sealed containers or places, such as the fridge. Wipe down the counters if you spill anything and make sure to regularly dispose of the garbage.
Make sure to always keep your food in sealed containers
These little pests love moisture. This means youll need to get rid of any moisture build up that may have arisen around the home. This includes a clogged sink or a leaky pipe. Call a plumber if the leak is too big to handle on your own.
These little pests love moisture, so check for any leaky pipes
Stink bugs are generally easy to trap, this is because they move slow. Make sure to not touch them with your hand and to not squish them. Use a plastic bag and dispose of them outside.
Stink bugs are generally easy to trap and throw away
Similar to the method above, you can also use a vacuum. Vacuum up any stink bugs you find. Afterwards, dispose of the vacuum bag immediately in order to prevent the stench from getting everywhere. When a stink bug has died, its smell leaves a strong residue. This residue will be in the bag, thats why you need to throw away the bag as well. So, dont use this method if you have a bagless vacuum.
When a stink bug has died, its smell leaves a strong residue
You can make a dish soap trap to catch the bugs. You can do this two ways. Combine half a cup of dish soap, two cups of hot water and one cup of vinegar in a spraying bottle. Then all you need to do is spray the mixture directly onto the bugs or places you know they hang around. You can also mix some dish soap and water and leave it in an open container. When you see a bug flying around, you should quickly knock it into the container. Do this with a glove and do it fast, so the bug doesnt have the time to emit its stench.
Mix some dish soap and water and leave it in an open container
There are some natural repellents that stink bugs hate. Even though they tend to be stinky themselves, these bugs really hate potent smells. You can make spray repellents with garlic. While it wont kill them, it will deter them, and you can spray it on any surface. Mix at least two cups of water with four teaspoons of garlic powder. But if you dont want everything to smell like garlic, you can also use mint. Use at least ten drops of mint oil and mix it once again with two cups of water. And just like with the garlic, spray it everywhere.
Use ten drops of mint oil and mix with two cups of water
You can use the tobacco in cigarettes to get rid of the stink bugs. All you need to do is shred twenty cigarettes worth of tobacco for every gallon of warm water you decide to do the mixture in. Let this mix sit overnight, and then strain all the tobacco out in the morning. After youre left with the tobacco water, add around two tablespoons of some dish soap. Mix well and transfer to a spray bottle. This mixture kills the stink bugs in seconds.
You can use cigarettes to get rid of the stink bugs
A bug zapper is an easy solution to any bug problem, really. It can work wonders to lure pests in and get rid of them. This includes stink bugs. However, since the electricity zaps the bugs, and they die in a split seconds, no stink residue occurs. However, with this machine you need to remember, just like most household appliances, you need to clean it from time to time. This will help it be efficient and catch all the bugs.
Bug zappers are effective against many pests
If you feel like youre seeing a lot of stink bugs, particularly around the garden, there are some ways to use natural repellents. Stink bugs lay a lot of their eggs on garden plants, which they also enjoy snacking on. Thats why you can try spraying your garden plants with a type of mineral clay called kaolin clay. This spray will stop the bugs from laying any eggs and eating them. And the best part is that this clay is safe both for the plants and for humans. So, even if you decide to spray vegetables, it washes off easily.
Try spraying your garden plants with a type of mineral clay called kaolin
Well, if youve tried every thing else, and it failed to get the infestation under control, you can try using chemicals. Most chemicals contain a pesticide known as deltamethrin. This pesticide kills stink bugs and can be used around all entry points. So make sure to spray down the windows, door seals and any point you think the bugs might like to hang out.
Most chemicals contain a pesticide known as deltamethrin that kills stink bugs
If you feel like the stink bug infestation is out of control, and you cant seem to get it under control, maybe its time to call in the big guns. Search online or ask your friends for pest control professionals. They can handle the situation, and you wont have to worry about the bugs no more!
Search online or ask your friends for pest control professionals
As we mentioned, its stink bug season all around. They enjoy warm temperatures, so youll be seeing them in the spring and summer, as well as hiding out in your home during winter. And while it seems that they may appear out of nowhere, there are plenty of factors that attract them. Just like fruit flies, stink bugs are also attracted by overripe fruit. These pests also enjoy plants from ornamental shrubs to wild weeds and vines. They enjoy eating pretty much any part of a plant. So, its highly possible there is something of interest in your garden as well. And when they start to seek warmth in your home, they often get stuck. Consequently, creating a small community of stink bugs all around your house.
There are other varieties of stink bugs
If theres at least one thing you dont have to worry about, its stink bugs biting, or stinging for that matter. And while they do tend to have the annoying hair of sneaking up on people and sticking to hair and clothes, they are generally harmless. Its just their smell thats terrible.
Stink bugs are harmless to humans
Nobody enjoys having pests in their home, from bed bugs to stink bugs, so its best to get rid of them as fast as possible. We hope you found this article helpful! Now you wont have to worry about stink bugs annoying you anymore.
How to get rid of stink bugs
Read the rest here:
How To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs: 11+ Tips And Tricks - Archziner
When you have bed bugs at home, you have two options: To hire a professional or to try some homemade remedies for bed bugs. Essential oils for bed bugs may help you on getting rid of bed bugs. So, how and which essential oils will help you on this?
Natural way for fighting bed bugs has two advantages. First, they are cheaper than any other professional help and second, they are natural.
We already published an article about natural remedies for bed bugs and you can check it before starting this post:
Essential oils are a part of those natural remedies and they can help you on your war against bed bugs.
Not every kind of essential oils will repel bed bugs. Here are some experienced essential oils for bed bugs:
Lets look deeper at those essential oils.
Tea tree oil is produced by a plant called Indian daphne. This flat-leaf plant which is naturally found in Australia is famous with its essential oil.
Tea tree oil is an effective remedy for bed bugs and it will kill them when it contacts bed bugs. Any bed bugs contacted with tea tree oil will have no chances.
But the problem with tea tree oil against bed bugs is that you need to sprinkle it directly on bed bugs. It wont help on killing bed bugs after you spray it around and just wait for bed bugs.
Also, some people may be allergic to tea tree oil and you must be careful when using it.
Rosemary is a common plant for Mediterranean lands at its used in a lot of industries. Its good for headache, skin and hair.
How rosemary oil helps you about bed bugs is its smell. Bed bugs will hate rosemary oil smell and they will try to keep away from it.
So, you can spray rosemary oil into your house, at the bottom of the walls, around your bed or inside the cracks and holes and, this will prevent bed bugs to reach you.
Thyme is a great plant with its taste and smell. Its used in industry for making some medicines or pother products and its a beautiful part of our kitchens.
Thyme oil can kill bed bugs too, when its directly contacted to bed bugs. But it also has some risks for children and pregnant women.
When you spray it around, its smell will help you on keeping bed bugs away from you.
Lavender blooms in summer and oil is made from its flowers. Lavender oil will kill bed bugs when you spray it directly on them
Good smell of lavender oil is not bed bugs favorite and when you spray it around your home, it will keep bed bugs in their hosts where they hide.
Clove is indispensable for our kitchens. It mostly grows in Asian lands and its collected while its still a bud before it blooms. Those buds are dried under sun and oil is made by those buds.
Clove oil is lethal for bed bugs and harms them when directly used on bed bugs. Bed bugs also dont like its smell, and this will help you too.
Lemongrass is also known as Melissa and its a main plant for industries like cosmetic, medicine and food.
What lemongrass does is the same as other essential oils and it has a lethal impact on bed bugs when directly used on them. It also keeps them away by its smell.
You can also use peppermint oil to kill bed bugs and take advantage of its smell to keep them away. You must try to use it directly on bed bugs and spray it on possible hosts for those bugs.
Eucalyptus oil may be an option too by the same ways in other essential oil. Just take care of using it directly on bed bugs to kill them.
Frankincense oil is made from the rosin of Boswellia sacra tree. It will be effective on killing bed bugs and keeping them away from you.
Chamomile oil will help you against bed bugs and its an effective option for getting rid of bed bugs.
I know what I told you about those essential oils were like each other. What I say is always to use them directly on bed bugs and their smell will help you to keep away bed bugs from you.
But, thats it! There is nothing more to say about essential oils for bed bugs. The question here is, whether if they will help you to get rid of bed bugs or not.
I must say that essential oils will be a temporary solution like other natural remedies for bed bugs. Because you need to find every single bed bug at your home to succeed with essential oils and this is not always possible.
I researched in forums and social media for you and see that essential oils are not recommended by to use against bed bugs.
Some people try to make a combination of several essential oils and spray them around. However, this may be a better way, its still not a permanent solution.
I believe that essential oils should be used as supportive to other professional ways. You can use essential oil around your bed or furniture to keep bed bugs away from you, instead of killing them.
Here are some ways of killing bed bugs, but professional support is still the best option when you have bed bugs at home:
See more here:
10 essential oils for bed bugs | Bedbug Detected
Many essential oils repel or kill bed bugs. We will be looking at five of them in this article.
For many generations, oils from different repellent plants have been used in deterring bugs.
For this post, we will focus mainly on bed bugs and the various kinds of oils that deter and eliminate them.
As effective as chemicalsare in bed bug control, oils are not safe for use around the house. They do come with a lot of risks. By constantly using them, you may be exposing your kids and pets to lots of health risks. It is often better to go with natural methods such as the use of odors to control bugs.
Of all bed bug control methods, the use of oils has overtime proven to be very effective, no matter how you consider it.
Essential oils are natural insecticides in the form of oils, gotten from different kinds of plants. In their production, flowers, bark, stem, leaves, and roots from specific plants are used. They are passed through different processes to produce what we know as essential oils.
Though natural, these oils can be very concentrated such that they might end up hurting your skin if used without caution. Yes, they are that potent.
When it comes to killing bed bugs, many people have found essential oils to be very effective. While some oils directly kill bed bugs, others repel and help halt their activities.
Essential oils work, according to many people who have applied them. They help you sleep through the night without having to worry about a single bug bite.
However, like several other natural pest control methods out there, they have their limitations.
You cannot rely on them during heavy infestations to wipe out every bed bug there is in your house. Since they take much time to work compared to bombs and heat, it takes some time before you start noticing their effects in your house.
It is also important to bear in mind that the quality of oils differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. That is the main reason you find some working far more than others.
Below are some powerful essential oils that you can use to eliminate bed bugs from your house.
Lets discuss some of the most effective essential oils to repel and kill bed bugs:
If sprayed directly on bed bugs, lavender oil can go as far as killing the critters. The scent from this oil is also so powerful that it repels bugs.
Apart from repelling and killing bed bugs, lavender oil also helps you relax and sleep calmly. The smell of this oil is pleasant when applied in the bedroom, living room and several other places at home.
Lavender oil is very strong. You would have to dilute it if you intend applying it on your mattress and sofas, so you dont end up hurting your skin if you have contact with it.
Tea tree oil is a very effective natural insecticide like lavender oil. When applied directly on bed bugs, it kills them. The scent from the oil is also known to scare bugs.
Apply the oil anywhere you have seen bed bugs around the house; the bedroom, the living room, etc. Places like under the sofa and bed are also among the best places to apply the oil.
Since bed bugs are nocturnal, it would be best to apply this perhaps in the night or toward the evening to kill many of them. The ones that escape being killed will have no other option than to leave your house in peace.
Tea tree oil has a pleasant scent, so you dont have to worry about the odor being offensive when applied in the house.
Apart from just repelling and killing bed bugs, the oil has been known to help in treating and healing their bites. When applied on the skin, it can go a long way to help you deal with bites faster.
However, some level of caution is required when using tea tree oil. That is because, in the undiluted form, the oil can be harmful if ingested or applied directly on the skin to ward off bed bugs.
You should also ensure your appliances are well covered before applying them to the room.
Does lemongrass oil kill bed bugs? Lets find out.
The smell of lemongrass may be pleasant to humans but it is very offensive to bed bugs. Thats why applying the oil on your body or anywhere around the house is a sure way to drive them away.
If applied directly on critters, lemongrass oil will kill them almost immediately. The oil is also known to act as a natural birth control method for bed bugs since it prevents their eggs from hatching. Without the eggs hatching, it is often easier to get rid of the pests from the house.
Apart from repelling bed bugs, lemongrass smell is also known to repel other insects like mosquitoes, ants, lice, and fleas. So you stand to gain more using the oil as a bed bug repellent at home.
The only challenge with lemongrass oil is that it is not advisable to use it around cats. This is because it causes liver damage. So if you must apply it where you have your cats, you must ensure you remove them from the house first.
Since lemongrass is known to have some health benefits for humans, you may be getting more than just a repellent when you buy the oil for home use.
Bed bugs are very smart creatures, so its not a surprise seeing them master how to withstand tough odors from natural insecticides. However, one sure oil that always works against them is the peppermint oil.
Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant, a very effective natural insecticide that is known to repel quite a lot of insects. When used against bed bugs, the odors from the oil can send bugs away from your home.
Unlike other essential oils that repel or kill bed bugs that have been mentioned here, many people cannot stand the smell of this oil.
Peppermint oil is as offensive to humans as it is to bed bugs.
When sprayed directly on bed bugs, peppermint oil eliminates them. Anyone that escapes that elimination will run as far away from your home as possible.
Peppermint oil also comes with some added benefits. When mixed with body lotions, it offers some relief from the bed bug bites. Applying it on your body before going to bed at night is a sure way to sleep calmly, without getting a single bite from bed bugs throughout the night.
So if you are searching for essential oils to use against bed bugs, consider adding peppermint oil to your list. It not only wards off bed bugs, but it also kills them completely.
Thyme essential oil is another natural insecticide that can be used in the house to kill and repel bed bugs. The oil is very effective if used properly.
It is often best to apply it in areas around the room where bed bugs are known to live or come to feed. For instance on the bed, sofa, box spring, etc. You can also apply it to your body to prevent bed bugs from biting you while you sleep.
Thyme oil is also known to kill bacteria, increase circulation and relieve anxiety, so you will be getting other health benefits using the oil. It is also known to ward off other insect pests as well.
For heavy infestations, you may have to spray it in all the rooms in your home, to kill or repel bed bugs hiding in those places.
The challenge with using this oil though is that it is not a hundred percent safe for pregnant women, especially the undiluted form. You will have to apply a lot of caution when using this essential oil.
If you are pregnant or have pregnant women living with you, we strongly recommend that you consider other alternatives or inquire from your doctor before using this essential oil.
Essential oils have a lot of benefits when used against bugs. They kill or repel the bed bugs effectively. However, if you do not do it right, you may not achieve anything worthwhile with them.
Apart from not achieving any tangible results, you may even end up harming yourself.
For instance, in the undiluted form, lemongrass oil and others listed here can hurt your skin bad. Undiluted lemongrass oil, in particular, is known to burn the skin. So to use it, you will have to dilute it first.
You can do that by mixing it with water or any mild body lotion. That way it will not burn or hurt your skin.
While these essential oils are known to be very effective against bed bugs, it should be duly noted that none of them on its own can effectively handle heavy infestations. You will have to combine them with other bed bug elimination methods to truly obtain significant results.
Essential oils are slow-acting compared to other bed bug management methods, so do not expect them to just wipe out all the bed bugs living in your house in one day. Also, a single application of the oils will achieve little results. It is best to apply it repeatedly for some days or weeks.
While applying it, special attention must be paid to places like the bedroom, the living room, cracks and crevices in your home, etc.
After it has been well diluted, you can also use some of the oils to bring relief to sites of bed bug bites.
Are you searching for natural ways to deal with bed bugs in your home? Do you want to learn of very effective bug control methods that wont expose you and your family to the danger of using one chemical or the other?
This article features the best essential oils to kill and repel bed bugs. You can use any of them to eradicate the pests from your house.
I hope you find this information useful.
Go here to see the original:
5 Essential Oils that Kill or Repel Bed Bugs
Bed bugs (cimex lectularius) are tiny insects, about the same size and shape of apple seeds, that feed on human blood, preferring it to the blood of other animals. These parasites take their common name from a tendency to hide in blankets, sheets, and mattresses, but they can breed and nest in many other areas throughout the home, such as baseboards and furniture. Bed bugs can also migrate to infest all areas of the house where their favorite mealyou and your familyhang out, leaving itchy, swollen bumps at the site of a bite.
Though bed bugs can be effectively treated with a targeted insecticide, just like fleas and lice can be, bed bugs must be eradicated at all stages of life. Bed bug sprays use a variety of active ingredients ranging from powerful insecticides like pyrethrin, pyrethroid, imidacloprid, and acetamiprid to pet- and child-friendly options like geranium oil and clove oil (though these non-toxic alternatives are not as effective). If you aim to rid your home of these irritating pests, consider the products reviewed here, representing some of the best bed bug sprays available in their respective categories.
Bed bug spray can control and even eradicate infestations, but they can come with harmful levels of toxicitynot to mention strong chemical odorsthat require vacating the area until the spray clears. Sprays are generally water- or oil-based, with water-based sprays possibly damaging electronics, documents, and wooden surfaces if used in excess. Oil-based sprays can stain whatever theyre applied to, and often leave a sticky residue, though thats typically removable with soap and water.
To avoid these issues with sprays, some folks plagued by bed bugs try alternative measures. These include steam cleaning and washing items in hot water, as exposure to temperatures of 185 degrees Fahrenheit kills bed bugs. Diatomaceous eartha silica-rich powder made from the sediment of fossilized algaecan be employed to banish bed bugs by destroying their exoskeleton. There are also traps designed to lure and eliminate bed bugs. You may wish to consider the preventative measures and treatments below before reaching for a bed bug spray.
If DIY treatments and the sprays described here fail, the infestation may require an exterminator.
We selected some of the best bed bug sprays in their respective categories based on high customer approval, overall efficacy, availability, and popularity.
Harris Odorless and Non-Staining Bed Bug Killer is a powerful spray designed to be used on cracks, crevices, furniture, closets, wall moldings, mattress seams, bed frames, and almost anywhere else a bed bug could hide, without leaving behind stains and odors, or damaging fabrics.
The chemical spray kills bed bugs on contact with imidacloprid, n-Octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide, and phenothrin. It continues to treat the infestation for up to 16 weeks, even eliminating bugs and eggs that are resistant to traditional pyrethroid insecticides. While this product is EPA approved for use in your home and around pets, it should not be used on your clothing, pillows, or bedding. Always follow label directions to ensure safe use.
While other sprays can damage a mattress bedding and other fabrics, Bedlam Plus Bed Bug Aerosol Spray, with its water-based formula, can be used on all fabrics, wood furniture, and carpets to kill bed bugs and their eggs. This dual-action chemical treatment that includes imidacloprid, can kill pyrethroid-resistant infestations, destroying bugs on initial contact and remaining active for up to two weeks.
Its safe to spray on every part of the bed, behind wall fixtures, and on your carpet or hardwood floor without concern. The spray is non-irritating to humans and common pets, but should never be used in a food preparation area or around consumable food and beverages, as its unsafe to ingest the spray.
Hot Shot Bed Bug Killer is an affordable bed bug spray that treats infestations in every part of the bed, upholstered furniture, luggage, baseboards, and carpets. The water-based imiprothrin and lambda-cyhalothrin formula kills bed bugs, bed bug eggs, and fleas on contact, but needs to be reapplied every two weeks if infestations persist in problem areas.
The spray leaves no oily residue or stains behind and theres no noxious chemical odor. However, because the spray also kills fleas, the manufacturer specifically states that the spray must not be used on pets, due to its harmful toxins. If your dog or cat comes down with fleas, see your veterinarian for an approved product to treat them.
mdxconcepts Natural Organic Bed Bug Killer is safe for the environment and all members of your household. The bed bug spray uses a natural, 100 percent plant-derived formula to instantly kill bed bugs on contact. The active ingredients, peppermint oil, and spearmint oil, effectively treat bed bug infestations imparting a fresh, pleasant scent. This bed bug spray can be used on all moisture-safe surfaces and items, including mattresses, baseboards, and carpets, without staining or leaving an oily residue. Repeat treatment per the manufacturers directions until the infestation is eliminated.
If more than one insect species has invaded your space, JT Eaton Oil-Based Bed Bug Spray is a broad-spectrum solution that targets multiple pests, including bed bugs and their eggs, fleas, brown dog ticks, silverfish, spiders, carpet beetles, and some roaches. It relies on a pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide formula and can be sprayed on all bed parts, baseboards, and flooring to kill on contact. It may leave an oily residue if too much is used, and its harmful to both humans and pets, so be sure to follow manufacturer directions exactly to ensure your safety.
This efficient bed bug spray uses three different active ingredientsdinotefuran, pyriproxyfen, and pralethrinto quickly and effectively treat all stages of bed bug infestations and can be effective on pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs. Despite its impressive results, PT Alpine Flea and Bed Bug Killer is rated for use on all areas of your bed, including your mattress, pillows, and other bed coverings. Its specially formulated to avoid drenching fabrics and it dries quickly so that you wont need to air out the house for too longbut it does have a chemical smell that powerful insecticides are known for. Use a ventilator during application and follow manufacturer recommendations for re-entry.
Bed bugs in upholstery can be tricky to treat because they hide in the folds and stitches of furniture. Fortunately, Ortho Home Defense Max Bed Bug Killer outsmarts the insects with a unique battery-powered application wand. It delivers multiple spray patterns for precise application and a finger trigger for continuous spraying.
This odorless bed bug spray, which relies on bifenthrin, imidacloprid, and piperonyl butoxide, can be used once every two weeks on bed frames, couches, chairs, and baseboards to kill pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, bed bug eggs, fleas, and ticks. It should not be used on mattress bedding, clothing, or pillows, however, and the manufacturers treatment instructions must be followed for best results and to ensure safety.
Harris 5-Minute Bed Bug Foaming Spray is best for use in baseboards, cracks, crevices, bed frames, box springs, and wall moldings thanks to a unique formula that expands into these areas, eliminating hidden nests within five minutes of contact. The spray continues working for a month before needing to be reapplied if bed bugs persist.
This spray relies on metofluthrin, clothianidin, and piperonyl butoxide to kill pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs in all stages of life. The foaming spray is non-staining and odorless, allowing it to be used all over the home without concern for residual stains, and it turns clear when it dries. While the EPA has approved the product for use on the entire mattress, the manufacturer recommends bed linens not be treated with this product.
Here is the original post:
The Best Bed Bug Spray for DIY Pest Control - Bob Vila
Five seasoned professionals share stories about the Islands continuing problems with pests, and their efforts to protect us from the harm they may cause.
Walter Wlodyka: Skunk, Raccoon & Pest Animal Removal
What pests do you trap and remove?
Skunks, squirrels, rats, bats, snakes, moles, and voles pretty much everything thats here.
Are skunks native to the Vineyard?
Ive heard stories, but nobody really knows. I heard that a gentleman here in Tisbury brought a pair of skunks over, a male and female. I also heard theres a very old diary in the West Tisbury library that mentions a black-and-white animal that smells. Take your pick!
A skunk is totally omnivorous and cannibalistic. If they cant find food in a hard winter they will kill and eat their own. Its the only animal I know in nature that is truly omnivorous: The skunk could chew the bark off a tree and digest it.
Now, weve had two mild winters which means that the females are healthy, as the ground hasnt been frozen. They can dig up grubs, worms, and dig down three feet, where the ambient temperature is 55 degrees year-round. So the skunks have no problem surviving and multiplying.
Whats a normal day like for skunk catching?
I could be setting three sets of traps, or 20 its such a crapshoot.
So far, I caught six skunks today; it will be more. With probably a squirrel or two, and maybe a raccoon. I use peanut butter to bait the traps. And a little bit of animal ferment.
Right now is mating season so the animals are going crazy, getting together. The male skunks are fighting over the females, spraying each other, biting each other. People are complaining over that when they call me for services. I investigate the territory, see what the problem is and explain it to the client, then set the traps. By law, I come back and check the traps daily.
Once I remove the trapped animals off a persons property I do away with them very humanely. Under law, I have to put them down. Then I have to bury them in a sanitary manner. You cant put a dead animal in a dump. It has to stay in the county. Its all part of my license.
I used to do exclusion work, meaning treating areas of the house to keep the pests out. Finding out where they are getting into the house, going in and putting exclusion wire under the deck or foundation. I gave that business to my daughter Sasha, as Ive decided no more ladders and no more digging for me at my age.
What about squirrels?
They are tree rats rodents. If squirrels get on your roof they are very destructive. Of all the animals I trap, the worst you could have on your roof are squirrels. They go from window to window and chew the sashes out, destroying all the windows in your house.
How about bats?
I deal with bats all the time. Though they are very beneficial creatures, as they kill a lot of insects, they can be carriers of rabies. Last spring there was a rabid bat found in West Chop. The bat is the most dangerous animal we have on the Island for rabies. Rabies has three stages: in the first stage the behavior is not normal, like roaming during the day; in the second stage they become extremely aggressive, they will attack; in the third stage the nerves and muscles in the throat tighten and they froth at the mouth, as they are trying to breathe. Thats when they die.
A scenario: a bat flies into the house at night and ends up in your bedroom; its in the second stage of rabies, and it comes and bites you while asleep. Bats are tiny, maybe twice the size of my thumb. The teeth are so tiny you may not know you were bitten, and you wont find the wound. The bat can transfer the rabies to you.
If anybody calls me saying they have a bat in the bedroom, I tell them to go right to the hospital and get the shot for rabies. If the bat is rabid, it could be the end of your life.
I caught a duck in a chimney in Aquinnah last year. I went into the house and put the protective suit on, and looked up into the flu, and there was a rare duck in there. He had fallen into the chimney and gotten stuck.
I can release an animal on the property and let it go, that s legal. I didnt destroy a rare duck.
What training and licenses are necessary?
I have a Problem Animal Control license, my traps are licensed, and then I have a trapping license: It takes three licenses to do this. Im completely licensed and completely insured.
And Ive been doing this work for thirty-seven years. Ive been trapping and hunting my whole life. I came to the Island as a fisherman, had a dragger, and settled down in Chilmark with my wife. Fishing was going downhill, so I got into caretaking, and this fell into my lap. In those days there were no licenses.
Who are your clients?
Everybody. You name it: A to Z.
How many pest animals do you trap per year?
Thats a hard number. Skunks in the thousands. Raccoons could be in the hundreds. Squirrels in the thousands.
Are there more pests now than years ago on the Island?
There are more skunks, more squirrels, more racoons more of everything. As there are more people on the Island and more houses, more problems; the denser the population the more problems.
Eco Island Termite & Pest Control
What pests do you treat?
Rats, mice, termites, carpenter ants a lot of wood-destroying insects inside and outside. Also, mosquitoes, wasp nests, and bed bugs.
What do you use to treat insects?
I can use a product that is 100 percent all natural. I use a mosquito, flea and tick treatment which is all natural for the most part. The way Im different, as we all use the same all-natural mixtures, is that I spray the outside areas but I granulate the lawn up to a certain border. Ninety-nine percent of granules will fall past the flowers and go onto the lawn area. Then the flowers dont get treated by the spray.
Anytime you see cide on any pest control product, it does mean kill. You should always be careful with it. One of the top-rated products I use is from a company called Eco Via, in conjunction with Eco Smart, a home friendly version. You still must be careful, as all pest control products are very dangerous, especially for birds and aquatic life. Even if it says eco- friendly or green. I have discovered a few ways to solve these problems, learning from other people and studying about natural solutions and trying them Ive been doing this for about 25 years now. Ive learned how to control some bed bug problems almost 100 percent all naturally.
What equipment do you use?
We have a spray gun attached to a 200-foot hose, attached to a 50-gallon tank. The tank can contain the all-natural pesticides or regular pesticides used by all the major pest control companies around the globe. We can treat foundations and crawlspaces, and even wasp nests if necessary.
What about bees?
I try not to treat bees anymore, unless people have a health issue with bees. That includes carpenter bees as well. Carpenter bees, honey bees, bumblebees are being depleted around the world, and without the bees we arent going to have food.
When Im at a site, I speak to a few beekeepers nearby to ask, Where are your bee hives? So I can be more cautious when Im treating around their neighbors.
What got you involved with natural pest control?
In 1989 I was going to a county college in New Jersey, and I took an environmental science class, and the teacher took us on a nature walk up and down some streams. That was the first time I opened my eyes to some of the environmental problems were having (were not supposed to have suds in the water). He made our class realize that a lot of those suds were coming from laundry detergents and pesticides getting into our water and river and streams.
So years later when I decided to start my own business in 2004, I decided to go all natural. Then, not too many people cared; but now, maybe 50 percent of people we speak to are at least inquiring about natural products.
The bed bug problem is BIG out here, every summer. This Island hosts people from around the world every year. So when you have people coming from airports its a problem as a lot of airplanes have insects, rats, mice, and roaches. I worked as a service manager for Terminix servicing Newark Airport, when wed get calls to treat jumbo jets for roaches, ants, and bed bugs. They are insects that travel by means of transference. They get on your clothes, you travel across the country. You can have a huge problem.
How are you different from other pest control services?
Some companies use eco-friendly products, and some companies are eco-friendly. Theres a big difference: Id like to say that were an eco-friendly company.
We incorporated last year to become Eco Island Home Services to include pest control, skunk exclusion for decks and porch, home improvement, caretaking, painting, landscaping, clean outs, and dump runs.
774-521-7874; 973-223-3709 (cell); email@example.com
Luiz Fogaca, Geese Partners
What is Geese Partners?
We are a humane and eco-friendly solution for geese control. We treat properties with a natural spray product at least once or twice a month, depending on the location or mowing schedule. This is our second season in business; we started last year in March.
What product do you use?
Our product is a natural occurring compound called anthraquinone found in many common plants such as aloe, senna, and rhubarb. It can be found in many over-the-counter products people commonly use to help reduce arthritis pain and aid in digestion. When the geese sample treated grass they experience a harmless but effective digestive irritation, reinforcing the message that there is something wrong with the food. It is the only spray-on solution that is eco-friendly, odorless, waterproof, and does not harm humans, vegetation, or wildlife.
What is the procedure for treating an area?
We spray the lawn with a ride-on machine or backpack sprayer in the areas where the geese droppings are found; in 30 minutes to an hour the mixture dries. It doesnt wash off it can rain or snow. It lasts up to two or three months, depending on mowing frequency. It can last up to three months if you dont cut the grass.
When is the best time to spray?
Early spring is the best time to initiate a program as it is nesting season. Spraying in spring greatly reduces the chances of nesting on a property. It can dramatically reduce bird infestation in the summer months.
Are the geese here year-round?
Yes, the Canada geese are not leaving the Island anymore. In previous years they would migrate during the winter. For several years now they have been here year-round.
Do the geese cause any harm?
The geese on the Island are much more bold and aggressive than other places. They might attack you if you tried to remove eggs from the nest, but normally they are not harmful.
With a large population of Canada geese on Marthas Vineyard it is important to be aware of the diseases they may bring to our area. Some parasites Canada geese may carry are chlamydiosis, E-Coli, listeria, pasteurella multocida, and salmonella.
Who are your clients?
At the moment our clients are mainly homeowners and landscape companies. We have the products and services to help towns, schools, and commercial properties protect their properties from the growing population of Canada geese.
Mario Spindola, Oh DEER
All Natural Deer, Tick & Mosquito Control
What got you started with Oh DEER?
I grew up in Edgartown and graduated in 2004 from the Marthas Vineyard Regional High School. After college in Florida, where I studied hospitality and business management, I wanted to start my own business. Working as a landscaper on the Island every summer, I saw two pest problems that not many people were addressing: deer eating the gardens and the growing population of ticks and mosquitoes. I met the Upham family in 2013 while landscaping in Edgartown and shortly after went to work with Kurt Upham, who had founded a deer, tick and mosquito control business in Wayland. By establishing Oh Deer on Marthas Vineyard, I became the first franchisee outside of his area. Once I started working for Kurt, I realized how we are different from other pest control services and landscapers; we use a saturation method for spraying our all-natural product.
What is the saturation method?
With two workers on each truck at a property, each person starts following the perimeter spraying 6 to 10 feet on the ground and then up on the trees. Once they meet, they focus on spraying the yard, house, the foundation, the trees, shrubs and flower beds. Just about everything gets sprayed. We are actually soaking the areas and the plants instead of misting or squirting.
We treat a lot of sensitive areas, and the product has no water toxicity. We can go right up to the water line and treat a path to the beach one of the most infested areas. We can spray all the way to the water. Pesticides have restrictions.
Our products are all natural. The solution we use to spray for ticks and mosquitoes is a mixture of rosemary oil, peppermint, cedar, and wintergreen with water. Its strong enough to kill ticks and mosquitos on contact. Once it dries, it becomes a repellent, unlike a pesticide that continues to kill anything that lands on the treated area. It is completely safe for you, children, and pets to be outside while we are spraying, and right after as well.
What is the solution used to treat deer?
The mixture used to treat deer is an egg-based solution: mint oil and peppermint. We change it a bit every season so that the deer dont get used to it. Sometimes we add a little garlic or white pepper. The fact that we use all-natural products is our biggest selling point; people are looking for an alternative to chemicals. Our clients dont want chemicals around their children and pets.
How do you protect your workers from ticks?
We recommend wearing treated pants from Insect Shield. The pants come treated with permethrin when you buy them, causing the ticks to fall off. They will last 70 washes, which is pretty much the whole spraying season. Weve had no cases of lyme disease among workers. We try to be very careful and alert and do our daily tick checks.
How do you charge?
For deer control, the fee depends on the amount of plants the deer like to consume. We go to each property and assess the plants the deer will eat since we spray each individual plant. The tick and mosquito fee is based on the size of the whole property because it all gets sprayed.
When we visit a home to assess and provide a quote, we can give the homeowner tips to make the property less tick friendly. Ticks need shade and moisture to survive so the first thing to do is to clean out the leaves and cut the grass. We recommend that the homeowner clean up the yard first before we come to spray.
Are you seasonal?
Deer control can be done year-round. During the spring and summer the deer go after the perennials, the flowers, the bulbs in the winter they go after the evergreens, like arborvitaes, azaleas, and holly bushes. Theyll eat as high as they can reach. For ticks and mosquitos, we treat April through October, when we spray every two to three weeks.
We work all over the Island and treat about 150 homes a week. Each year we add about 100 more homes to our client list.
T.J. Hagarty, All Island Pest Management
Tell us about your background handling pest control
Ive been a sole proprietor offering pest control since 1993. Prior to that I worked for the County of Dukes County, running the rodent control program for 13 years. Ive been a licensed Mass Fisheries and Wildlife pack licensee for skunk and racoon trapping for 30 years. I have a Mass Agriculture & Pesticide Commercial license to place poison and pesticides on other peoples property. I handle getting rid of skunks, racoons, rats, mice, ants, termites, bats, hornets, bees, yellow jackets, and spiders.
Do you work year-round?
My business keeps me busy primarily for three seasons. Problems with mice and rats continue year-round. But the bulk of the business is from spring until the end of October. Im full time 24/7 during the summer months. I dont plan any holidays. I receive calls from various police departments and animal control officers when they have a situation at night with raccoons, alarms going off, skunks getting into houses or businesses the phone rings at all hours. Everything about the business is complicated its multi-tasking.
What are your tools of the trade?
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The Protectors: Heroes of Pest Control - Martha's Vineyard Times