Firewood Pests—Protecting your Woodpile

Learning how to keep pests out of woodpiles in Northern Utah & Southern Utah - Rentokil, formerly Specialized Pest Control & Lawn CareAlthough we all like to curl up next to a warm fire during the wintertime, the luxury of keeping firewood to do so often comes with unwanted pest problems. If you aren’t careful about the way that you store your firewood, all sorts of insects and even rodents can take advantage of a temporary shelter, and even move inside your home to get warmer. Over our decades of service in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho, we’ve learned the best ways to protect your woodpile and keep pests out of your home. Read on for advice from our expert technicians at Rentokil.

What Types of Pests Do Woodpiles Attract?

A good number of pests that you might find around your woodpile in the winter will do no harm to your family or your home. Boxelder bugs, moths, earwigs, some species of spiders, and other pests might be a nuisance, but cannot cause damage to your property or spread diseases. However, there are a few pests that you should watch out for around your woodpile:

No one likes the sound of having bees or wasps around their property, but with carpenter bees, the potential for property damage is present, too. Additionally, termites, powderpost beetles, and carpenter ants all bore through our homes’ wooden structures, whether to eat the cellulose within in the wood or to make nests. Termites are one of the worst pests you can have in your home—in the United States alone, subterranean termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage every year!

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Piled Firewood

If you leave your woodpile in a vulnerable state for too long, you will certainly develop a pest infestation of some sort. Here are Rentokil’s three best pieces of advice to stop this from happening:

  1. Keep your firewood elevated and covered: Woodpiles left on the ground can attract carpenter ants and termites that live in the soil beneath. Keeping your woodpile stored in a rack off the ground will reduce your chances of an infestation developing.
  2. Keep it at a distance: Your woodpile should not be left resting against the side of your home. The further away you store it, the less likely your home will become infested.
  3. Burn older wood first: When you take wood inside to start a fire, make sure you pick the older logs to burn first. Older logs are more likely to be infested, but if you get them into your home and burn them quickly, the pests shouldn’t spread around your home.

Winter Pest Control in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho

If you want to feel certain that your woodpile isn’t the reason for any pest infestations this winter, reach out to your local pest control company. Our technicians at Rentokil can perform a complete property inspection to find any vulnerabilities or potential causes of a pest outbreak. We can also help you take preventative measures to keep pests out of your home in every season.Don’t wait until it’s too late to stop pests this winter—reach out today for a free quote!

Install Chimney Caps to Keep Birds Out

Chimney caps keep birds out in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho - Rentokil, formerly Specialized Pest Control & Lawn CareHaving a bunch of birds around your home might not seem like a problem, and it may even be invited, but birds can actually cause lots of problems for homeowners in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho. Besides the noise that they can come with, birds are capable of causing property damage in many forms, and they can even cause diseases with their droppings. If you have birds resting in or around your chimneys, it’s important to take action to remove them quickly. Read on to learn how Rentokil advises you to do so!

How Birds Cause Problems for Homeowners

Birds in the chimney or on the roof can create problems for homeowners in a few different ways. Here are some things to watch out for if you’re noticing more birds on your property than usual:

Chimney blockage: If birds create a nest that blocks off the top of your chimney, it could trap carbon monoxide fumes inside, creating a health risk for you and your family.
Gutter blockage: When birds nest in your gutters, they could divert water in improper ways that cause water damage to your home’s siding and foundation or waterlogging in your garden.
Dropping exposure: Bird droppings sometimes host a fungus that can cause histoplasmosis in humans when its spores are breathed in. This is a dangerous disease when left untreated.

How to Prevent Birds in Chimney Stacks

Birds that nest on your roof or next to your chimney might want to venture inside for shelter and warmth. As you can see, this has the ability to cause a whole host of problems for homeowners. However, you can avoid these for the most part by installing a chimney cap. Chimney caps allow you to keep fumes from your fireplace flowing safely outside while also preventing anything from coming in. Birds will be forced to find somewhere else to nest, which means your chimney won’t be at risk for droppings, nest debris, and birds flying down inside.

Bird Control in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho

If you have a chimney cap, but birds are still nesting inside your chimney, team up with your local pest control company for expert help. At Rentokil, we train our bird removal team to handle all of the local bird species in our region. Prioritizing humane methods of bird removal, we can take care of birds on your property safely and effectively. For a free quote or to learn about our bird control services, contact us!

Are Silverfish Harmful or Poisonous? How to Get Rid of this Occasional Invader Pest

Closeup of long tailed silverfish at Rentokil in Northern Utah and Southern IdahoSilverfish—we’ve all seen these tiny bugs around our homes. They will feed on your books, dead skin cells, and other materials that are starchy. Silverfish are nocturnal so you may not see them during the day. You’ll most likely figure out you have them by the signs they leave behind. If you notice dark, damp areas that have excrement that resembles black pepper or find yellowish stains on paper, cereal boxes, wallpaper or clothing, and fabrics it’s a sign that silverfish are around.

These pests can be destructive so to protect your belongings it’s imperative to get control over them. The experts at Rentokil are here to share everything you need to know about silverfish, from preventing them to getting rid of them for good.

Silverfish Infestation Prevention

There are steps you can take to reduce the chance you’ll be dealing with these pests. The top ways to prevent silverfish are:

  1. Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
  2. Improve ventilation.
  3. Using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in the air.
  4. Remove uneaten pet food.
  5. Regular tidying of the home.
  6. Fill in cracks you find or repair peeling wallpaper.

Natural Silverfish Repellents

There are some natural ways to eliminate silverfish with products you can commonly find in your kitchen. Cinnamon, whole cloves, and citrus fruits are effective in keeping silverfish away from certain areas but will do nothing to get rid of a full-blown infestation. Small infestations can be dealt with by eliminating food sources, preventing moisture buildup, and reducing humidity. Larger infestations will most likely require a professional pest control company. Food and valuable books or papers can be placed in sealed plastic containers to prevent damage and contamination.

Professional Silverfish Control

If you find yourself with an infestation of these serpentine creatures, you can rid your home of them by trapping, repelling, and killing them with insecticides and making your home less habitable for them. You might have to experiment and try different methods to get rid of silverfish completely. Silverfish can live for years if they aren’t taken care of by humans and when you take care of silverfish issues you’ll also help prevent other pests too. The secretive nature of silverfish allows them to reproduce quickly and do lots of damage before you realize you have a problem. Do regular checks of your home especially in dark and hidden places to look for silverfish. If you can’t get a handle on a silverfish infestation in your home, it’s best to reach out to your local experts at Rentokil.

How to Keep Pests Out This Holiday Season

Raccoon hides in attic during the winter in Northern Utah - RentokilIt’s the holiday season and the last thing you want to worry about is a pest infestation. And with summer far behind us at this point, many make the mistake of thinking pest infestations are in the past, too. Unfortunately, there are a number of common pest problems that occur in the winter here in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho. With our bitter cold temperatures, many pests and animals look to escape the dropping temperatures.

To avoid the unwanted gift of a pest problem this holiday season, it’s important to learn how to prevent common winter pests. The experts at Rentokil are here to help—read on to learn more!

Common Winter Pest Infestations

There are two types of common winter pests: those that enter your home to escape the temperatures outside (often called overwintering pests), and those that you unknowingly let inside (such as pests that were hiding in your holiday decoration boxes). The most common pests and wild animals that try to get inside this time of year include:

  • House mice: Many mice prefer secluded areas and will look to nest in your attic using insulation and other stored items for nests.
  • Roof rats: As their name implies, roof rats can easily squeeze their way inside and build nests up in your attic.
  • Spiders: A lot of spiders can take shelter in your holiday decoration boxes. When you unpack these each year, you could unleash these pests right into your home.
  • Wildlife: Raccoons and squirrels are strong climbers and can make their way into your attic to escape dropping temperatures outside.

How to Prevent Pests Over the Holidays

The good news is that it’s easy to enjoy the holiday season pest-free. The top seven things you can do to prevent these pests are:

  1. Organize all items and eliminate any clutter in your attic or basement. Use plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes for storage, especially when it comes to holiday decorations.
  2. When unpacking these decorations each year, shake out the items outdoors before bringing anything inside.
  3. Inspect both inside out outside the attic, and seal any cracks or crevices with caulk or steel wool, or wire mesh.
  4. Secure your chimney with a chimney cap, and install wire mesh over any vents or holes.
  5. Trim overhanging tree branches, overgrown bushes, and vines away from your home to limit roof access to pests.
  6. Ensure your garbage cans are securely stored in your hard with tight-fitting lids to stop pests from rummaging.
  7. Inspect all firewood that your store outdoors for signs of spiders and other pests before bringing the firewood inside!

Need Help With Winter Pest Control?

Let’s face it: the holidays are the busiest time of the year. The last thing you need is a pest infestation on your hands. To keep pests out this winter, it’s imperative to team up with your local exterminators. At Rentokil, we will work hard to implement exclusion and prevention tactics to keep pests out for good. Contact us today to get started!

What Are Those Smelly, Shield-Shaped Insects?

What brown marmorated stink bugs look like in Southern Idaho & Northern Utah - RentokilIf you’ve been noticing a gradual increase in the amount of little, brown, shield-shaped bugs around your home in Northern Utah or Southern Idaho over the past few years, you are not alone. You might even recognize them to be stink bugs, but you might not know why this particular kind just can’t seem to stop multiplying. To learn more about these pests, read on for information compiled by the technicians at Rentokil!

What Is A Stink Bug?

There are plenty of stink bug species that are native to the United States, but over the last three decades, brown marmorated stink bugs have been spreading like wildfire across the country. They were brought here accidentally by Eastern Asian cargo ships in the 1990s. Since first documented in Pennsylvania, these pests have spread to cover much of North America and are now projected to inhabit the entire continent soon. Brown marmorated stink bugs have virtually no natural predators here, allowing them to spread without much struggle.

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be differentiated from other stink bugs by their black, white, and brown markings that make stripes and patterns on their backs and antennae. They have a unique shield-shaped body and usually don’t reach any longer than ⅝”.

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

Stink bugs aren’t dangerous to humans directly. They will only bite on severe occasions and these bites aren’t venomous or very painful. Their main defense mechanism is right in the name—when threatened, stink bugs secrete a foul odor from their scent glands. This can be triggered by trapping them, touching them, or getting too close for too long.

Brown marmorated stink bugs have been a menace to the U.S. agricultural industry, though. They extract nutrients from farmers’ crops en masse, ruining yields. If you are just a regular homeowner, they might be infesting your home for your garden, plants, or even produce.

Stink Bug Pest Control in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho

It’s a lot easier to keep stink bugs out in the first place than to control an entire infestation on your own. To prevent them, you can use screens on your vents, windows, and doors, seal any cracks in your plumbing fixtures, and fill any cracks in your foundation or roofing. If you have stink bugs in the house already, the best way to get rid of them is with a vacuum cleaner.

The problem with brown marmorated stink bugs is that they just keep coming. If you need extra help with stink bug pest control in Northern UT, reach out to your local exterminators. With Rentokil, you can feel secure leaving service to the experts who know exactly how to stop this novel pest. For a free quote, contact us today!

Rodents—Fall’s Biggest Lawn Pests

A gopher seen in Northern Utah - Rentokil There are many signs of potential rodent activity that you might find in your yard: little dirt mounds starting to cluster on your lawn, holes popping up in the dirt in your yard, or unforeseen plant decay in your garden. All of these might mean that you’re currently hosting rodents, but how do you know which ones you’re dealing with? Moles, voles, and gophers are all common fall rodents in Northern Utah, and their burrowing can negate all of the hard work that you put in to keep your yard looking beautiful. To learn more about them and how to keep them away, read on for advice from the rodent experts at Rentokil!

What Are the Differences Between Moles, Voles, and Gophers?

All three of these animals are rodents that burrow in moist, cool soil looking for shelter and resources. They are all the most active in spring and fall when the right amount of rainfall creates optimal burrowing and feeding conditions. However, these rodents have a few features that set them apart. Besides their appearance (which can be hard to assess given that they spend most of their time underground), they are best told apart by their diets:

  • Gophers like to eat plant roots and bulbs. They will usually live under your lawn.
  • Voles are also herbivores but are much less picky. They are known to eat seeds, bulbs, tubers, grass, rhizomes, and even bark. This means that they are more likely to be seen at the surface.
  • Moles are carnivores, eating worms, grubs, and various regional insect species.

How to Do Your Own Rodent Control

After learning a bit more about these pests, you’re probably starting to think about the activity you’ve seen in your yard and which kind of rodent might be causing the disruption. Due to their limited above-ground activity, it can be hard to tell how you can take efforts to get them under control. One popular preventative approach is to plant thyme, sage, daffodils, or other plants with strong fragrances to ward them off and distract them from finding a food source.

If you’re already experiencing an infestation, though, you should choose a more active approach:

  1. Mix four tablespoons of a combination of castor oil and dish soap into a gallon of water, then pour the mixture into any burrowed holes in your lawn.
  2. Use gopher mesh or chicken wire to construct fences inside any holes.
  3. Set traps using carrots, apples, or peanut butter to lure them in.

Although these work for some people, we can’t guarantee that they’ll take care of your rodent problem.

Rodent Control Starts in Fall

As autumn starts to set in, rodents of all kinds in Northern Utah will be looking for an area providing shelter and resources that will last them until spring. If you want to get a head start on rodent prevention before winter comes, reach out to the rodent control experts at Rentokil. We have been helping residents in our area prepare to keep moles, voles, gophers, and more out of their homes for years, and can teach you how to stay on guard on your own. Contact us today for a free quote!

Late Fall Lawn Care Schedule & Guide in Northern UT

Lawn care in Northern UT - RentokilYou might think that the waning temperatures and increasing rainfall of the fall allow you to take a break from your lawn care routines, but this is the opposite of the case. With a long winter on the horizon, your lawn has to absorb moisture and nutrients during the fall in order to hang on during the cold and stay healthy until spring. If you’re looking to keep your yard in Northern Utah looking its best all year, read on for advice from the experts at Rentokil. Our lawn care experts have laid out some top fall lawn care tips for you!

Why is Fall Lawn Care Important?

It’s important to take care of your lawn in the fall so that it stays healthy through the winter. Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn because the cooler temperatures and higher chances of rainfall allow your lawn to best absorb its nutrients. The ideal fertilizer contains these nutrients:

  • Nitrogen to promote colorful and dense blade growth
  • Phosphorus to promote healthy root growth
  • Potassium to improve your lawn’s durability

Fall Lawn Care Guide

In order to keep your lawn in top shape through the winter, you can follow these steps:

  1. Rake often: If leaves accumulate on your lawn, they can become stuck together by rain and morning dew. This suffocates your lawn and causes fungal diseases.
  2. Mow carefully: During the fall, before you retire your lawnmower for the winter, you can mow your lawn on the lowest setting, making sure not to take off more than one-third of the grass blades.
  3. Water and aerate: By irrigating your lawn into the fall, along with aeration, you can ensure that your grassroots see the proper amount of water to sustain their health through the winter.
  4. Kill weeds: If you allow weeds to take in the same nutrients that you’re feeding your lawn, they will grow stronger and healthier in the spring. Take care of your weeds now to prevent this.

Along with your fertilization, these steps should promote strong lawn growth in the spring. Although it might seem futile, patience and time will yield beautiful results!

Professional Lawn Care in Northern Utah

Every lawn is different and requires special attention to bring out its best appearance. If you can’t seem to get it right for your lawn, you can trust your local lawn care company to make the assessments to set you up for success. At Rentokil, we train our lawn care technicians to utilize the most effective and eco-friendly methods and products for lawn care and maintenance in Northern Utah. For a free quote, contact us today!

5 Signs of Moles or Gophers Living in Your Lawn

A mole found in Northern Utah - RentokilIf you find your yard torn up with tunnels, seemingly out of the blue, you have unfortunately attracted a mole or gopher problem. Moles and gophers are small mammals with prolific digging habits; they tear through the upper surfaces of our yards to create shelter and find food. Because they spend so much time underground, they can be hard to control. If you’re trying to figure out what’s wreaking havoc on your lawn in Northern Utah, read on for Rentokil’s expert identification tips.

Moles vs. Gophers in Northern Utah

Moles and gophers might be hard to spot, but when you do see them, they can be told apart fairly easily by these differences:

  • Moles are smaller than gophers, averaging 4 to 7 inches in length. Gophers can be anywhere from 5 to 14 inches in length.
  • Moles can be distinguished by their pink and pronounced hands and noses.
  • Gophers are much more territorial, so they are less likely to be found in pairs or groups.

5 Signs of Moles or Gophers in your Lawn or Garden

If you’re wondering whether the damage in your lawn or garden has been caused by gophers or moles, here are five signs of their activity:

  1. Mounds of dirt will show up overnight on your lawn or in your garden.
  2. Mole tunnels will cause damage to plant roots, leading to poor growth on the surface.
  3. When moles tunnel, they cause stones to come up to the surface of your lawn. If you aren’t careful, they can damage your lawnmower.
  4. Gophers create tunnels with 3-inch wide holes that extend up to six feet underground.
  5. If you find plants that have been eaten or partially pulled through the surface of your yard, you have found gopher activity.

Both moles and gophers can create eyesores and damage in your yard, so you should be able to tell if either is present on your property.

Mole and Gopher Control in Northern Utah

Moles and gophers have to be dealt with quickly so they don’t destroy your whole lawn or garden. For help getting rid of gophers or moles, ask your local pest control company. Our lawn pest control experts at Rentokil use efficient and effective mole and gopher control strategies to get rid of active vermin and protect you from future infestations. For a free quote or more information on our services, contact us today!

Hobo Spider Bite Facts—Are Hobo Spiders Venomous?

A hobo spider found in Northern Utah - RentokilThe little brown spiders you’ve been seeing around the outside of your house lately are most likely hobo spiders. Hobo spiders are an invasive species that are now common in the Pacific Northwest; they have been spotted in Idaho as early as the 1960s and in Utah starting in the 1990s. More recently, they’ve been spotted in the backyards of a lot of our customers.

Having a fear of spiders is natural, but it is important to learn about how to deal with spiders properly so that you don’t accidentally wipe out any beneficial species on your property. The spider experts at Rentokil are here to teach you how to identify hobo spiders and what their bites are like. Read on to learn!

Identifying Hobo Spiders in Northern Utah

Hobo spiders are often confused for similarly-colored spiders, like the brown recluse. There are some distinct features that you can use to identify them with, though. Here are a few:

  1. Size: Hobo spiders with their legs extended are about the size of a nickel. Brown recluses, for comparison, are about the size of a quarter.
  2. Markings: Hobo spiders have lots of intricate markings across their backs in different shades of brown. Brown recluses have no markings, just differently colored segments.
  3. Webs: The web of a hobo spider will be close to the ground and look like a funnel with a dense structure and a distinct opening.

Are Hobo Spiders a Health Risk?

Hobo spiders are able to bite, but their venom has been classified as non-toxic by the CDC. Their bites were formerly believed to induce tissue damage and necrosis, or skin death, which contributed to their being confused with brown recluses.

Hobo spiders rarely bite—like many kinds of spiders, they would much rather flee than resort to attacking. If you are bitten by one, here is what you can expect:

  • Redness and swelling at the bite
  • Moderate pain for about 12 hours
  • Leg twitches

If your symptoms extend beyond these, you might have been bitten by something else. Talk to your doctor about prolonged spider bite symptoms.

Hobo Spider Control in Northern Utah

If you are particularly anxious about the number of spiders on your property, whether they’re hobo spiders or not, you can always call your local pest control company about them. At Rentokil, we conduct holistic home inspections for every customer to determine spider species, threat levels, and vulnerabilities that could be attracting them. Contact us today for a free quote on spider control!

How to Keep Ticks Out of Your Home & Yard

A blacklegged tick on a leaf in Northern Utah - RentokilWe all look forward to the warm days spent out in the sun during summer. However, the more time we spend outside, the higher our risk of a tick bite becomes. Ticks love areas with consistent warmth and humidity, especially when humans and animals are around. They live in the woods, around hiking trails, in backyards, and many more areas. Ticks have also expanded to more regions than usual recently due to increasing temperatures.

If you have dealt with tick problems every summer around Northern Utah, read on to learn Rentokil’s top tick control tips. We will teach you the reasons why ticks around and what you can do to avoid them.

Keeping Ticks Away From Your Yard

Ticks like to hang around densely vegetated areas with lots of trees or small animals around. If this sounds like your yard, you are likely to find some ticks this summer. To keep ticks away from your your hard, you can do the following:

  • Trim trees: Ticks make hiding places out of overgrown plants. If trees are hanging over your deck, porch, play structure, or any other area where you hang out, they will be able to find you easily.
  • Mow your lawn: Ticks also like to hide in tall grass, especially where animals live. If you mow your lawn once a week, it will reduce your chances of attracting ticks.
  • Clean up your yard: Any piles of yard waste, firewood, old chairs and couches, or garbage can create hiding places for ticks.
  • Prevent wildlife problems: Small animals like squirrels, racoons, mice, rats, and more can attract ticks. They will look to them as hosts to feed on and eventually make their way to you.

Preventing Ticks Inside the House

Ticks can only live indoors for up to a few days at their most resilient. However, in indoor spaces that accumulate more humidity, like bathrooms, sheds, and cabins, ticks can hang around for longer. Most ticks end up indoors because they were unknowingly brought inside by a person or a pet. Here’s how to prevent that from happening:

  • Inspect your pets: People with dogs that spend their days outside or go on frequent walks see the most tick problems indoors. Make sure to check your pets for ticks after they spend time outdoors.
  • Cover your skin: The more exposed skin you leave when outdoors, the more likely you are to attract ticks. Wearing long pants or high socks can help you avoid them.
  • Use bug spray: When going on a hike or spending the day in the sun, use bug spray on your exposed skin. This will help you avoid bringing ticks back indoors at the end of the day.

Tick Removal Professionals in Northern Utah

If you need help getting rid of ticks around your property this summer, let your local pest control company know. At Rentokil, we take pride in our holistic tick control service: a complete inspection to determine the infestation’s source, implementation of pertinent tick control tactics, and advice to keep our customers tick-free going forward. Contact us today for a free quote!