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Question:

For the past three years I have been having problems with small brown insects. They seem to appear in the late spring, summer and whenever the temperature rises. The first year we had the problem, the bugs were on in my room. I found them dead in groups and in my bed. That first year, I was even bit by one. Suddenly, they went away. The second year, they were also found in my sisters room as well as mine again. They would fly and be found crawling across the floor and landing on tables. We cleaned as thoroughly as possible, but they were still coming back. Just within the past few days they have been returning. I found one dead in my bed and one landed on my leg tonight. 


I have tried to find the name of the bug but have been unable to. They are brown, small, bite and fly. I'm guessing they are a type of beetle due to their structure. 


Also I have found small, round black and white spotting bugs. What are those?


Answer:

small brown beetle-like insects as well as round black, white spotted insects keeps me guessing.  I would be happy to receive specimens that you can send me, or, if you wish, take digital images of these, close up, and I can help you.



Google the following insects that may be your challenge:  for the brown, look up drugstore beetles, and for the black, look up carpet beetle specie.

I'd be happy to help you further, and our address is 9138 S. Baltimore, Chicago, IL 60617.



sincerely,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

Reese


Small Flying Insects


Thank you for your help in this.  I'm sorry it's so mundane, but it's a big deal to me.

In the last week, I've noticed a few small flying insects that I thought were just fruit flies or fruit fly-like. I'd brought in a watermelon and assumed they came in on that.

This morning, I went to water the amaryllises and realized there are many, many of these insects - grayish in color, about 1/8", with antennas - around the amaryllises (we have four about to bloom and another three making up).

If I have to get rid of the amaryllises, I'll do that in a heartbeat by moving them outside - which will kill them as its in the 30's.  Will that eliminate the insects or will they just move to another plant (I have several, some very old and valuable, but none has these insects around them at present).

I'm wary of treating the plants as I have cats, one of which has asthma, unless you know of something that is really safe.

Thank you, again.

Hello Reese--

Your plants may be infested by one of the piercing-sucking invertebrates.  Spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, and aphids can be the culprits. You can google these specie that I’ve mentioned to see which of these are infesting your amaryllis plants.

You can make a spray by introducing several drops of dish soap in a quart of water.  Enhance the solution by adding a teaspoon of oil of orange.  Use an atomizer to spray the leaves, especially the bottom side of the leaves.  Spray as needed.  The plants will thank you.

If needed, please contact me again.  I hope that I've been helpful.

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

Expanded Question:

I found these small insects witch we found them a couple of years back on our bedroom and we found them by our bed witch is close to our heating system that is one of those old heating system around the bedroom and the living room and kitchen, also bathroom, but n-e-ways this bugs now they are coming from the bathroom to the kitchen because they are together wall to wall but they only come out at night and wen you move them they play dead for a wile. I have collecting like twenty or so of these bugs, well of course some of them are dead already and my big concern is my four year old boy that likes to play allot on the kitchen floor. maybe you will know what they are, is you can pas it around so that i could find an answer to this bugs. You tell me if you want me to send you a picture Of the bugs. i really haven't found any at day time.  thank you for your help.


Answer:

The fact that they are seen only at night, and are only seen in the area of bathroom and kitchen,  leaves me with more questions.  You say they play dead when you push them.  Can you send me a specimen?


Maybe a digital image to my e-mail address will be enough.

Mail:  George Manning, American Pest Solutions, 9138 S. Baltimore, Chicago, Illinois 60617.  E-mail: george@pestproblemssolved.com.



There are so many creatures that fit your description.  I'd like you to help me to help you.



I look forward to hearing from you again Claudia.

Best wishes,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

stink bugs

How do I kill and control them in my garden? I live in Delaware and last year my squash and zucchini plants were overrun and destroyed.  They multiplied so fast. Please help!

Answer
 
A combination of actions will help you attack this stinkbug problem.  The use of a product known as Neem, will be a significant aid in combating these pests on fruits and vegetables. 

It is important to remove all weed growth near and around the garden spot.  Destroy rubbish where these bugs can hide during winter.  During the growing season, during very early morning, when the bugs are resting and slow-moving, hand pick them off of leaves and fruits.

Since these bugs have mouth parts developed for piecing and sucking, you can use a soap solution to spray the undersides of leaves before plants reach maturity as an overall program to cut back on bug and other plant damage creatures such as aphids and whitefly.  The use of diatomaceous earth, a dust, is extremely useful.  Read labels for garden application.

I have not used EcoPCO Exempt for outdoor use in gardens but I believe that this is a viable and safe addition to your arsenal of safe pesticides to use in the home garden.

Neem:

Neem is a botanical insecticide derived from a tree native to the Middle East, where it has been used for centuries to control insects. One of the most desirable properties of Neem is its low degree of toxicity†it is considered almost nontoxic to humans and animals, and is completely biodegradable. It is used as an ingredient in toothpaste, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other products. Neem products can be used to manage pests on vegetables, fruit, ornamentals, and lawns and can be found at many home garden centers. Neem has been advertised as effective or moderately effective for more than 200 pest insect species and some of the plant diseases, including certain mildews and rusts. Effectiveness, however, is variable and test results have been inconclusive in many cases. Because the products are relatively new, it is not yet clear how effectively the products control each of these pests. Generally, chewing insects are affected more than sucking insects. Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis are also generally affected more than those which do not undergo metamorphosis. Neem often works more slowly than other pesticides, and effectiveness is reduced in cooler climates. Neem does not persist in the environment and should be reapplied after rain. Neem has little effect when applied directly on insects, except in the oil formulations; most insects are affected only after consuming foliage that has been treated. Neem is most effective as a foliar spray applied periodically to new flushes of growth. On some species of plants Neem also works as a systemic pesticide, absorbed into the plant and carried throughout the tissues, ingested by insects when they feed on the plant. This may make it effective against certain foliage-feeders that cannot be reached with spray applications, such as leafminers and thrips.

Neem:

Neem is a botanical insecticide derived from a tree native to the Middle East, where it has been used for centuries to control insects. One of the most desirable properties of Neem is its low degree of toxicity†it is considered almost nontoxic to humans and animals, and is completely biodegradable. It is used as an ingredient in toothpaste, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other products. Neem products can be used to manage pests on vegetables, fruit, ornamentals, and lawns and can be found at many home garden centers. Neem has been advertised as effective or moderately effective for more than 200 pest insect species and some of the plant diseases, including certain mildews and rusts. Effectiveness, however, is variable and test results have been inconclusive in many cases. Because the products are relatively new, it is not yet clear how effectively the products control each of these pests. Generally, chewing insects are affected more than sucking insects. Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis are also generally affected more than those which do not undergo metamorphosis. Neem often works more slowly than other pesticides, and effectiveness is reduced in cooler climates. Neem does not persist in the environment and should be reapplied after rain. Neem has little effect when applied directly on insects, except in the oil formulations; most insects are affected only after consuming foliage that has been treated. Neem is most effective as a foliar spray applied periodically to new flushes of growth. On some species of plants Neem also works as a systemic pesticide, absorbed into the plant and carried throughout the tissues, ingested by insects when they feed on the plant. This may make it effective against certain foliage-feeders that cannot be reached with spray applications, such as leafminers and thrips.

To the end that you are accumulating information that will make you combat ready, I've passed on these thoughts.

You may contact me again once you have reviewed this information, and I will take additional steps to help you, the now learned questioner, George.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Expanded Question:   

 Hi,

This winter I have a infestation of what looks like brown marmorated stink bugs in my house. I've heard they are a problem in houses all over the mid-atlantic this winter. For me, they particularly congregate in the bathroom around the sink.  I thought they were living down the drain so I closed the drains as an experiment.  I found they crawled out of the overflow trap instead.  I ran the sink until it hit the overflow trap then added a little drain opener.  Is there anything else I can do to kill the nest they seem to have down there?  Have you heard of them living in drains?

Thank you for your generous advice!



Lynnis


Charles Town, WV


Answer:

Hello Lynnis--



If you do really have BMSB(brown marmorated stink bugs), your 
State Agricultural department would like to know of them. They will tell you in what manner they want you to send a specimen. It is possible that they will visit you to confirm identity.



These true bugs were introduced through some unknown event, from the Far East where they are native, and feed on ornamentals, fruit trees, legumes, and other wild plantings. 

I'm not acquainted with this species.  They are being dispersed over the Mid-Atlantic States.  They were first reported in Eastern Pennsylvania.  It seems that homeowners are the first to discover them as they seek winter refuge in protected areas such as homes.

I have a complete explanation for how to manage stink bugs, on my website, www.pestproblemssolved.com, and, on this allexperts site.
Please refer to IfKammer's question--"Flying Insects" from 12/31/07. 

Concerning your discovery of these bugs in your bathroom drain, they may have moved out from the exterior wall, within where they found   refuge.  Possibly, when the weather warmed, the sun shining on the west or south sides of the home, these creatures moved to the interior where the bathroom was accessed from the aperture where a drain pipe entered the wall.  From there, they entered the drain in one single episode possibly attracted to the drain opening.  This does seem strange because the shelter searching starts in mid to late September.  I don,t believe there would be a second re-gathering within a heated building if the bugs appear inside.  You may be seeing bugs that fell into the sink after they exited wall openings, and when there, crawled into the drain or overflow opening. 

Use a pyrethroid dust such as deltaguard, using a duster,  repeatedly, squeeze the dust into the overflow opening of the sink.



I recommend the use of a vacuum cleaner rather than spraying anywhere else.  You do not want wholesale kill that would attract 
Dermestid beetles such as carpet or larder beetles that could later become their own household problem.



Please contact me again if you require more help on this or any other pest concern.



Best wishes,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

American Pest Solutions

 

Subject: Stinkbugs Question: I am a wildlife rehabber and I have a flying squirrel rehabbing a fracture. Out of nowhere his habitat has become a haven for stink bugs. What do I do. I don't want to poison or harm the squirrel. I also try not to disturb it to much. Answer: Not knowing what its habitat looks like is a bit of a handicap. I imagine that you have constructed a shelter that mimics the natural home that the squirrel prefers, but is accessible to you while you doctor the animal. Let us say that you could apply a non toxic powder to the interspaces of this hutch. Would you feel that the animal could become alarmed and might do further damage to itself? I am thinking about applying ample amounts of diatomaceous earth to this little habitat. Stink bugs seem to be early in yuour area. They usually seek shelter beginning in late august through late September. The"earth" will do no harm to the animal but will destroy the stinkbugs. Let me know what you think. Best regards Jae, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com george@pestproblemssolved Pest Control Chicago

 

tiny beige bugs that don't die


My daughter found tiny beige/brown bugs on her comforter and mattress. They don't have wings and they jump. I know that are not fleas or bed bugs.  I have washed her bedding twice, vacuumed with my dyson completely, washed down the walls and floors and used a fogger in her room twice without success. I have gone to a local garden shop with a couple on a piece of tape and they are stumped.  Any idea?
 

Finding tiny beige bugs on comforter an mattress might be from Collembola since you say that they jump.  I have just answered an inquiry about springtails.  You might look into the ecology of that group of insects which do leap but do not bite.  You can also send me a few specimen for identification.

Maybe you are placing the comforter on a surface where these creatures are living and transferring them ,inadvertently, to the bed.

let me know, and best wishes Marie,

Best regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

www.pestproblemssolved.com


Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

tiny black bug.. what is it?


I am in southwestern Ohio.  In spring 2007 I noticed these tiny black bugs emerge on the ceiling of my sewing room in a finished basement.  They drop to the table and look like they are dead.  They do not fly.  In the fall, my husband placed some bombs in the ceiling above and they seemed to disappear.  In the last couple of weeks, these bugs have started to emerge again.  They don't seem to have wings and are less than 1/8" long and about 1/16" wide.  What are they and how do we get rid of them?
 


Some small stored grain pests, beetle-like, because they are tiny, may appear as if without wings.

I hesitate to guess what you are describing.  I'd like to receive a specimen.  With the "bug in hand", I will be able to help you.

Look up dermestids, carpet beetles, furniture beetle, tissue beetle, carpet beetle.  Also check out snout beetles. 

I'm sorry I can't give you an answer yet.

Best wishes 


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

george@pestproblemssolved.com


Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

sawdust and bugs coming out of holes in our windowsill!


QUESTION: Hi, About a week ago I noticed little tiny piles of sawdust and little tiny holes on our windowsill in our second floor bedroom. We've been watching the sill and more holes are appearing, and twice we actually saw little tiny bugs coming out . We live in urban Philadelphia.  I heard that these were probably 'powderpost beetles?" We bought our house about two years ago and did some renovation - the windowsill  is part of a new bay window we had installed. What do we do about these guys? It would be really difficult and expensive to remove the window/sill and replace it.
Any help would be most appreciated  - we don't really know anything about bugs and I really avoid killing things whenever possible (i don't even kill mosquitoes.) I am open to the best solution, though.
sawdust and bugs coming out of holes in our windowsill!
QUESTION: Hi, About a week ago I noticed little tiny piles of sawdust and little tiny holes on our windowsill in our second floor bedroom. We've been watching the sill and more holes are appearing, and twice we actually saw little tiny bugs coming out . We live in urban Philadelphia.  I heard that these were probably 'powderpost beetles?" We bought our house about two years ago and did some renovation - the windowsill  is part of a new bay window we had installed. What do we do about these guys? It would be really difficult and expensive to remove the window/sill and replace it.
Any help would be most appreciated  - we don't really know anything about bugs and I really avoid killing things whenever possible (i don't even kill mosquitoes.) I am open to the best solution, though.


Thanks!


Kim



ANSWER: These beetles are probably Lytids, but check Anobiids as well on the internet by ggogling them.

I'm inclined to believe that you received a bay window that had already been infested with Lyctids.

Even if the sill is varnished or painted, the existing beetles will be able to emerge, but once vacated, the Lyctid larvae from newly hatched eggs will not be able to enter the wood.  Treatment of finished wood is not possible by using insecticide.  It would be necessary to strip the wood first and then apply a borate product in a supersaturated solution.  That would not stop emerging beetles but there would not be a recycling of that wood.

I would recommend a heat treatment of the window space in its entirety.  You could drape plastic over the space and set a thermostat to shut off a heater at 120 degrees.  Keep it on for 72 hours.  That should kill off any remaining larvae that is feeding within the wood.  Beetles go through complete metamorphosis, the larval stage develops within the wood.  Lyctids can have two and three year development time, so it is possible to have bought wormy windows.

I would let the supplier know that you purchased damaged windows and that the responsibility to repair or replace will fall upon the source of the wood and everyone before you; lumber yard, manufacturer, retail office.

I hope I've been able to help you.  Let me know if you need further assistance Kim.

Regards,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi George,


Thanks for your answer, it was very helpful. If we do nothing, considering that the emerging beetles can't re-infest the wood, does the 'problem' just go away on it's own? Do we still risking further damage to other surfaces or to something else if we don't kill them? 


Thanks again,


Kim

BLyctids can spread but not on finished wood.  The thought is that you have a specific condition that became infested prior to your installation. 

If you wish, you do have a "bone to pick" with the supplier's suppliers lumber yard where these creatures came upon the scene.  Even as a favor to your direct supplier, you should inform them of this occurrence.

I've copied a fact sheet for your consideration


Best Regards,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com


Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

these tiny red insects appear a few times a year on my desk, crawling over papers and the desk itself. they are extremely tiny as appear as red dots. when crushed they become as a red blood spot. You may be seeing clover mites. When they spread out from the lawn, they often enter the home via crevices around the home's windows and doors. Other than that, you may be seeing the red spider mite. In either case, they will not bite you, nor will they remain for long, since they have wandered from their ideal environment outside of the home. Best wishes Arnold, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Unusual House Fly Problem We've lived in our Southern California home for 20yrs. In the last 2 days we've seen an unprecedented number of what appear to be common house flies, congregating around two windows and a sliding door. Both windows have drapes, the sliding door does not. Yesterday morning we vacuumed up about 30 flies from these 3 locations. A few hours later, there were about a dozen at the same locations. Same thing today. We're seeing them nowhere else in the house. The windows and doors (and house) are closed tight. The flies seem a bit sluggish. We can't figure out where they are coming in. Suggestions? When flies lay eggs on a food source, the maggots that hatch from the eggs, will all develop into adults at about the same time. You say they appear to be house flies. Are they metallic green or blue in color, rather then grayish black as are house flies? Several species can enter the home and in so doing, locate a garbage source, lay eggs, and so forth. An aerosol of pyrethrum can be purchased at your hardware supplier, or pest control supply store. Several blasts released into the air, pointing upward to effect an airborne mist, will reach flies. They'll pick up insecticide on their wings, fly crazily, and spin around on the floor before they die. I hope I've been helpful Rich. Best wishes, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

hi there i am wondering what these bugs are they are tiny kinda the size of a grain of rice long black they don’t fly move slow and are found in my kitchen  but they are on the floor ,counters, inside cabinets (food boxes etc) and if i am not mistaken i think their eggs are kinda like the texture of sand i find the eggs more toward the bath room in a corner they don’t bite nor fly anyways hope this helps thank u

Shannon from Fla

Answer: Shannon:

It seems that you are experiencing a build-up of stored grain pests of one kind.  It would be extremely helpful if you could place several of these, probably beetles, on a 3/5 card or white sheet of paper under scotch tape.  Place one right side up and the other on its back.  This will be useful for quick identification

I am an entomologist working in the urban pest elimination field.

I hesitate to offer specific answers to your question. That you say they are found everywhere in your kitchen and that they do not fly opens a number of possibilities that would lead in several directions.  

American Pest Solutions

 

Wasp nest in my chimney We have a wasp nest at the top of our chimney. We have a wood burning stove insert and although the damper and front glass door are closed, they are getting in the house! We killed 10 of them in our den (where the fireplace/stove is) last night. My husband lit a fire, hoping to burn/smoke them out, but it did not work. Outside, we can see then fly into a hole in the cement grout near the top of the chimney. How can I get rid of them? And if I call an expert, do I call a Chimney company or a pest control company? Help! One stung my mother in the house just this morning. We live on Long Island, NY if that makes any difference. Wasps of all species will look for a nesting location every year. In four season climates, such as yours, they will never reoccupy the existing nest. In some parts of the Country, wasps do not die off leaving only the overwintering fertile queens. In your area they will not continue after winter sets in. You may want to call a professional, but if you want detailed instruction, please contact me again Sandra. Regards, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

sand hornets


My mother's yard is infested with sand hornets.  I've read they can be eliminated by using a bulb (squeeze) type applicator to put dry insecticide into the holes they make in the ground.  This yard has hundreds of those holes!  Do you think using a spreader to apply the insecticide would work?  What is your opinion on dusting these pests as they are buzzing just above the ground?  I'm game to try anything at this point.
 


There are many wasps belonging to a family of insects known as vespidae; simply called vespids. Within this grouping are wasps known as Cicada Killers, also called Digger wasps.  They are virtually harmless.  Their large size makes them appear menacing.

Over a small area, you can soak the sand with one of the insecticides known as Pyrethroids.  This will gradually destroy the bothersome insects.  These wasps may be of a social type which builds small colonies below the sand, or they may be solitary wasps.

Wasps are so beneficial that I don't like to destroy them unless absolutely necessary.

If you wish further discussion, please get back to me Rose.

Best regards,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

Pest Control Chicago


Exterminator Chicago

 

Water Bugs

Hi George,


How can I get rid of water bugs? I live in an apartment on the second floor, they 
are long and light brown with alot of legs. Can you help me?

Answer


Waterbugs in Chicago where we office, refers to American roaches and Oriental roaches.  They inhabit sewers and find their way into buildings after heavy rains or extreme dry spells.  They are quite easily killed with a pyrethroid insecticide such as Suspend SC.  They are attracted to roach baits also.  Since they inhabit more humid niches of the building, they will be located behind and under sinks often along the pipe chases.

If you spray, do not bait.  The spray will act like a repellant against the attraction of the bait.

Contact our supplier who is linked to our website if you do not have a supplier nearby.

For a more detailed response, contact me again Christine.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminstor

 

Expanded Questions:

i have a eight week old gray squirrel. she has mange mites. do you know what to get to cure her?

Answer:

Mange mites can be addressed by treating eruptions with dabs of kerosene or and then applying tea tree oil.  At eight weeks old, the kerosene might be too strong for the tender skin. Teatree oil by itself will be sufficient.  In addition, for such a young animal, you can follow with olive oil, which would probably work by itself.



Mange mites lay their eggs on the skin surface.  The young hatchlings burrow into the skin and complete their development there.  Skin erupts, and the newly developed adults repeat the process.  These creatures die when oil is applied to the wounds.

For further information, you can Google Mange or Scabies.



Tracy, I appreciate your inquiry. Let me add an additional caution:

Squirrels imprint as a group of 6 to 8 members, as an average.  They do not permit strangers to join them. Your squirrel will not be successful when released to the wild.  Either you adopt the animal for life or you find an animal shelter which will introduce this youngster to other young captive squirrels, which can all be released to the wild as a group.



Best wishes Tracy,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

Question:

Help!  I don’t know what I have in my wall, but it is about to drive me nuts.  I have set snap traps, sticky traps, put out rat bait, mouse bait, rat traps, mouse traps, and called two exterminators.  I think the second one is about to cut holes in the sheetrock.  This thing is living in either my wall, or in the attic of my townhouse.  I think it’s in the wall, but sound is hard to place.  It is a multi-family dwelling.  The scratching/chewing noise is at night, it wakes me up about 2 a.m. and continues about every few minutes until about 7 am.  I put rat and mouse bait, pellets and bars, in the only place I saw droppings.  It ate a lot of it and piled it up and put it in under the insulation in a place under the stairwell where there are open studs and insulation.  There were dropping that looked like black elbow macaroni, and sheetrock “chewings”.

Help!  I am about to put my house on the market, and I can’t figure out how to solve this problem.  It’s been going on… I’ve been putting out traps in the attic and in that closet for two months.  Yesterday, the exterminator put about 8 snapper traps outside with peanut butter.
Within the last two years, I have caught two animals I thought were shrews (moles?), in that same closet, and I have caught two mice there too.  I cannot find the entry point and all holes have been sealed as far as I can tell.  Also, I pulled out some of the insulation in that closet and there was a live worm in it.  Two French drains were installed about a month ago, and there is a lot less humidity in the room (this is slab construction) that backs up to that particular closet under the stairwell.  Is it possible this animal lives underground and has decided to move into my wall?  Any advice you can me will be much appreciated!!!

Amy


Greensboro, North Carolina


Answer: Dear Amy--

Although you have mentioned many experiences relating to home invaders, the three points that are most significant are the time of day noises, the storage location under the stairwell where insulation is exposed, and the shape of the droppings.

You are experiencing a rat invader; probably a female that sought a safe place to birth her young.  The time of day, intermittent scratching, and or chewing until 7AM rules out squirrels.  Squirrels will be active until 8PM, and become active again around 6AM.  Also the location of the stored bait plus the quantity of bait consumed does not usually permit squirrels an extended survival.  Rat droppings are shaped like you describe.  Rats will remain active all night long.  They are nocturnal while squirrels are daytime creatures. It sounds as if you are receiving rats via a squeeze through spot in your sewer line. You may have experienced sewer issues in the past.  he fact that you had moisture issues may be a clue.

First, eliminate the existing rat condition which sounds like a small family population.  Secondly, investigate sewer breaks or separations.  This may require a sewer video camera. We'd be glad to respond to future questions.

Good luck and best regards,

George Manning


Entomologist

Chicago Pest Control

American Pest Solutions

 

Will


Holes in My Front Lawn


I live in South Carolina, about 30 miles inland from Myrtle Beach and about 3 miles from the Little Pee Dee River.  This weekend, I noticed two large holes, about 8 inches in diameter in the middle of my front lawn about 20 feet from the house.  The holes are about 5 to 6 feet apart, but I cannot tell if they are connected.  There are no mounds of dirt around them and there are no obvious signs of tunneling.  I have an in-ground pool in my back yard and I have found a couple small moles (dead) caught in the filter.  The moles I find  seem to be too small to create such large holes, typically slightly smaller than a computer mouse.  I am also surrounded by farm land, mostly hay, tobacco, and soybean.  What sort of critter might I have that could cause such huge holes in my front lawn?  What is an effective method of extermination?


QUESTION: I live in South Carolina, about 30 miles inland from Myrtle Beach and about 3 miles from the Little Pee Dee River.  This weekend, I noticed two large holes, about 8 inches in diameter in the middle of my front lawn about 20 feet from the house.  The holes are about 5 to 6 feet apart, but I cannot tell if they are connected.  There are no mounds of dirt around them and there are no obvious signs of tunneling.  I have an in-ground pool in my back yard and I have found a couple small moles (dead) caught in the filter.  The moles I find  seem to be too small to create such large holes, typically slightly smaller than a computer mouse.  I am also surrounded by farm land, mostly hay, tobacco, and soybean.  What sort of critter might I have that could cause such huge holes in my front lawn?  What is an effective method of extermination?



Dear Will:

Let me make some suggestions{  Please check to see if your sewer line runs below these holes.  Presumably you are on city sewer and not septic sewer?

Rats will dig upward from a separation in the sewer tiles from the sewer main and reach the surface, backdigging dirt to the sewer so that a hole appears such as you are describing.  Moles will pop up from their tunneling, mostly to push dirt to the surface, but as you believed, no such large holes would appear.

You can run a video camera through your sewer line to the street and check to see if there are separations large enough to let rats escape to the surface.  With a locater when cameraing, you will find the exact point to dig, and you will learn how deep to dig to reach that point.

 

Expanded Question:

I recently found out that a rat has made a home inside my dryer. I peared into the exhaust duct and the rat droppings trailed into the bowels of my dryer. Is there any way to safely clean the dryer? Is it destroyed? Waht are the risks of contracting the Hanta virus?



Please help


Answer:

Rats in your drier can be of concern regarding the virus known as Hantavirus.  Western States have reported this condition.  I am not aware of any such reportings in Mid-West or Eastern states.  Of that concern, please call CDC at 877-539-4344, or e-mail to http://cdc.gov/ncidod/hanta/hps/index.htm in order to relieve yourself of that concern.



Certainly, a concern could be managed by using a hypochlorite solution sprayed over all contaminated surfaces of the drier.  in any event, exposure to rat urine or dried droppings should be handled in this way.  use rubber gloves and a respiratory filter mask while cleaning.

Now back to the rat.  Check your vent, and any interior voids that could have allowed rats to access the duct leading to the building's exterior.  Should rats be present below the floor, within walls, etc.,  baiting them would be called for.  It might be advisable to contact a professional.



Best wishes Joscelin,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

Expanded Question:

Hi George,



I have a small boat stored under our summer cabin. The boat has exposed areas of plastic and foam flotation which cannot be covered. The cabin crawlspace cannot be easily sealed, it is about 10% 'porous'. The rats, mice, and other small critters, are ruining my boat by eating the seats, and other foam areas. 



Is there anything I can do to prevent this? What do you think of ultrasound devices, mothballs, mint oil, and other repellents like Rat-away?

Thank you and Regards, Ken.


Answer:

When you define your boat situation as rats, mice, or other small critters, the overall concentration becomes more elusive.  I am prone to believe that a persistent gnawing of your furnishings is that of a mouse problem or a rat problem but not both at the same time.  It seems to me that with such persistent activity, where the two species are at the same location, mice would be the more inhibited.  Rats could and would seek to destroy mouse nesting, and their population if both were resident populations.

May I suggest that you never eliminated the existing problem; the base population generating replacements for every one that is destroyed.  other than that, if the boat is not beached, how are mice or rats arriving on board?  would they be so available that they continually climb your mooring ropes?  I doubt that this is the case.

possibly, when the vessel is dry-docked, your infestation had its beginning.



You must reduce available food supply or keep contained and unavailable.  Over bait with anticoagulants.  My favorite is produced by Bell Labs, and is called Contrac.  Order product from a supplier.  You can find our supplier on our website, www.pestproblemssolved.com.



Please contact me again if I can be of further help.



Good hunting and best wishes Ken,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago,
American Pest Solutions

 

Rodent Control


Hi George,

I have a small boat stored under our summer cabin. The boat has exposed areas of plastic and foam flotation which cannot be covered. The cabin crawlspace cannot be easily sealed, it is about 10% 'porous'. The rats, mice, and other small critters, are ruining my boat by eating the seats, and other foam areas.

Is there anything I can do to prevent this? What do you think of ultrasound devices, mothballs, mint oil, and other repellents like Rat-away?

Thank you and Regards, Ken.
 


When you define your boat situation as rats, mice, or other small critters, the overall concentration becomes more elusive.  I am prone to believe that a persistent gnawing of your furnishings is that of a mouse problem or a rat problem but not both at the same time.  It seems to me that with such persistent activity, where the two species are at the same location, mice would be the more inhibited.  Rats could and would seek to destroy mouse nesting, and their population if both were resident populations.

May I suggest that you never eliminated the existing problem; the base population generating replacements for every one that is destroyed.  other than that, if the boat is not beached, how are mice or rats arriving on board?  would they be so available that they continually climb your mooring ropes?  I doubt that this is the case.

possibly, when the vessel is dry-docked, your infestation had its beginning.

You must reduce available food supply or keep contained and unavailable.  Over bait with anticoagulants.  My favorite is produced by Bell Labs, and is called Contrac.  Order product from a supplier.  You can find our supplier on our website, www.pestproblemssolved.com.

Please contact me again if I can be of further help.

Good hunting and best wishes Ken,

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator


Hi George, Thank you for your quick and very informed response. You are correct, They are probably mice that live under my cabin where the boat is stored. I have never seen mice or their droppings in the actual boat, only the damage they cause in their effort to gather nesting material. The boat is completely open, and only docked for very short periods. Almost all of the time, the boat is stored under the cabin. I will try the product you have suggested, it seem like the only solution Thanks again, Regards, Ken

 

rodent in minivan I had my air cabin filter changed in my 2005 Toyota Sienna and there were rodent droppings in it. The filter was only 3 months old. I haven't physically seen the rodent. How do I get rid of it and keep it out. Baiting with an anticoagulant bait placed near the filter will attract the culprits to feed. This is apparently a habitual; whereby the behavior (unknown species) is either living within the vehicle or immediately nearby. It is likely that the same individual(s) repeat their visits regularly. Bait should be maintained as a routine procedure. D-Con is an appropriate bait to place where non-target domestic animals will not have access. Best Regards Angela, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

Expanded Question:

We have found small hard brown bits in the draw where we keep our knives an forks. At first we thought it was something that had fallen in the draw (like pips).  We cleared it up, however it keeps reappearing.  We can not see why any pest would be drawn there as there is no food. What do you think it could be?  We can not see how it would get in.


Answer:

Small brown excrement may come from mice even though you have no food there.  Not knowing where you reside, I have no clue as to what species of rodent is leaving droppings.



There are some large roaches that leave fairly large dropping also.



You can mail this scat to me at 9138 S. Baltimore, Chicago, IL 60617.  I will be able to I.D. the creature by viewing this evidence.  



Thanks for your inquiry Andy,

Regards,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago

American Pest Solutions

 

unidentified specimen Please help me to determine what this unidentified specimen could be. It was found under my covers, and along side my bed which is in the basement of my daughters home in New Jersey. It is blackish shiny, appeared to have a hard outer shell with a grayish substance inside. I took the speciment to an exterminator which said it was rat droppings. would droppings have a shell like appearance and a soft matter inside. I looked under a magnifing glass and could not identify legs, to identify as an insect or could this be an egg. Please help me before we freak out! Thanking you in advance. The size appeared to be bigger than a grain of rice. Mouse droppings can be slightly larger than long grain rice. When fresh, a dropping mat have a shiny surface. Rat droppings are shaped like an olive pit; as large or slightly larger than the pit. when fresh, droppings are definitely shiny. I'm influenced by the exterminator's opinion, and guided by the fact that you found no legs, and there was a solid grayish substance below the surface. You might consider setting out boxes of D-Con along walls near the location of the first specimen. Look for additional droppings within the apartment to confirm the possibility of rat presence. Best wishes, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

A Mouse was in my bed and touched my leg! Question Hello, I'm living on the 3rd floor of an apartment building. It's a relatively new building. Three days ago I felt iching on my leg while I'm alseep, so I sit up and see what that was, and I saw a mouse ran towards the headboard of my bed from my leg area. I was really scared! Shouldn't a mouse be in the kitchen instead of my bedroom which has no trace of any food? Shouldn't a mouse be on the floor instead of my bed? Shouldn't a mouse run away when he smells of human being instead of touching? My building manager set a humane trap, and nothing happened for the past 3 days, so I set a few snap traps bailed with popcorn and butter along the wall with the "business end" againt the wall. I shut the bedroom door to keep him there. I haven't found any trace of mouse drops in my apartment even with him inside there now, and does this mean there is only this one in my apartment. Or is it possible it's someone's mouse pet who loves to touch people and is not afraid of human beings? Thank you very much for you time to help. Sincerely, Robin Answer It is highly unusual that a mouse should remain below you bedding, and later make contact with your leg as you describe it. The fact that there is no additional mouse presence identifiable does lead me to think a mouse was placed there. I have seen instances where mice will cllimb upon a bed while the bed is occupied: however, never have I heard of such an experience such as yours. Don't you suppose someone may have introduced a pet mouse to the comfort of your bedding? The bedding may have been able to keep the mouse captive until you showed up. Without the backing of a reasonably active mouse problem, I cannot understand this happening. Keep up the vigil for a while. George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com American Pest Solutions

 

In my pantry I have wire shelves. There are no holes in the walls anywhere around the shelves or in the pantry for that matter. I took everything away from the base of the shelves--plus the shelves them selves are 3 ft off the floor. The walls are just regular painted sheet rock walls ,no texture . I took everything off the shelves inspected the items and then restocked the items on the shelves... Still I find mice droppings on the shelves and the food cans boxes etc.... How the heck are they getting up there? I even shook all the boxes to make sure they are not hiding inside a box of cereal or somthing! Please advise.. Thanks Answer If this is a repeat situation, you may find body stain where repeated travel to and from the shelves will highlight a mouse travel route. Often, mice may be nesting above a ceiling where they are housed near a lower floor food site. Should you have anything hanging, or a mop or broom handle stored in a corner of the pantry,these could be climbing opportunities for mice. Finally, with a chronic condition such as you are indicating,I would recommend a complete inspection of attic, dropped ceilings, canned recessed lighting, and go for a complete kill of these creatures. If after an inspection, you find mouse harborages, place an ample amount of anticoagulant bait near the mouse havens. You could, too, remove all other storage, and place a significant amount of mouse bait where the mice are leaving their "calling cards". I hope I've been useful to you. Contact me again, and I'll attempt to be more specific through further information from you. Best regards Mark, George Manning, Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Question In my pantry I have wire shelves. There are no holes in the walls anywhere around the shelves or in the pantry for that matter. I took everything away from the base of the shelves--plus the shelves them selves are 3 ft off the floor. The walls are just regular painted sheet rock walls ,no texture . I took everything off the shelves inspected the items and then restocked the items on the shelves... Still I find mice droppings on the shelves and the food cans boxes etc.... How the heck are they getting up there? I even shook all the boxes to make sure they are not hiding inside a box of cereal or somthing! Please advise.. Thanks Answer If this is a repeat situation, you may find body stain where repeated travel to and from the shelves will highlight a mouse travel route. Often, mice may be nesting above a ceiling where they are housed near a lower floor food site. Should you have anything hanging, or a mop or broom handle stored in a corner of the pantry,these could be climbing opportunities for mice. Finally, with a chronic condition such as you are indicating,I would recommend a complete inspection of attic, dropped ceilings, canned recessed lighting, and go for a complete kill of these creatures. If after an inspection, you find mouse harborages, place an ample amount of anticoagulant bait near the mouse havens. You could, too, remove all other storage, and place a significant amount of mouse bait where the mice are leaving their "calling cards". I hope I've been useful to you. Contact me again, and I'll attempt to be more specific through further information from you. Best regards Mark, George Manning, Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Robert


Mouse Problem


Hi George,
Thanks for taking the time to review my question.  Here's my situation, we have an unfinished basement and a enclosed sunroom which sits to the right of it.  Apparently field mice are getting under our deck and sunroom (which just has deck flooring).  They are then getting into our basement.  We've had this problem for the past year and I've probably caught about 25 of them.  I know exactly where to put the traps, but I can't visually see or access anywhere to seal them off.  I'll catch two in three days, then nothing for a few weeks, then three in four days, then nothing, etc.  So without completely ripping up our deck, I can't access underneath or seal out the wood.

So my question is what you would recommend that I do.  I've talked to some pest control places, but it seems as though in my case, I could do the same thing they would be doing.  I thought there was a better way then just laying out bait and waiting for them to die, but it sounds like there isn't.  I have young kids and I really don't want to deal with the smell and mouse bodies all the time.  

Also, I asked one place how the problem gets fixed, since the initial mice would be killed, but what prevents more from coming back.  They said mice detect the other dead mice with their senses, so they know not to come back.  Is that true?  I'm just worried that if I set out bait, that I'll just have the problem again every month, since more can get in.

Sorry for the long note, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Sincerely,


Robert


Answer: Mouse Problem

Thanks for your inquiry Robert---

Mice reproduce according to food supply.  Even though they are able to enter your home as you describe, there must be a staging area from which individuals enter your home.
Your fear of odor from dead mice is not necessarily an absolute.  The thought that mice will steer away from areas where there are dead mice is myth not fact.

A female mouse, living about one year, is able to generate offspring from her sixth week of life.  While nursing a litter, she is often pregnant again.  The potential for many mice is always there, but, consider that there must be ample food supply, and safe coverage. Within a given space, populations usually are self limiting.  They cannot breed beyond their ability to obtain necessary nourishment, nor will they breed over and above protective harborage.

Bait them, using an acute anticoagulant.  Place many times the recommended bait within your exterior mouse haven, below your deck space.  If you have an attic, check to see if mice are breeding in the batting or blown in insulation.  Bait there too.  For the most part, mice will 
die where they live.  Eventually mouse proof from the outside.  You may need to access connecting areas along the house/deck. Keep in touch Robert.

American Pest Solutions

Pest Control Chicago

 

Frogs in my yard


Every summer for the past three years frogs have invaded my yard and every morning I find bounds of mushrooms in yard what can I do to get rid of the frogs?
 

Frogs are protected in many States.  It would be a good idea to contact your agricultural department on this specific situation.  Their people would be the most helpful.

Round-up by Monsanto has been reported as an incidental destroyer of frogs and toads when applied for its intended purpose which is weed control.

Frogs do so much good in nighttime insect control.  Like bats, they are worth their weight in gold.

I don't know how you are tying in mushrooms with frogs.  It is reported that certain fungi have a deleterious effect upon frogs.

Heavy rains or overwatered lawns can bring about both frogs and mushrooms; the mushroom fungi attracted to such a lawn, and the toad/frogs attracted to the insect life that is fostered in such a condition.

By watering in the early morning and not at night, you might have a progressively improved exclusion of the specie that you question.  It is important to aerate your lawn, and if you use a roller that has multiple prongs over its surface designed for the purpose of punching holes in the lawn, you might accelerate water absorption.

I've run out of ideas.  If anyone has additional suggestions after reading this posted answer, I'd appreciate a communication.

Gheri, thanks for the opportunity to help you.  I hope I've been a help.

Best regards,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologis

t
www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control and Exterminator

 

Question: 

I believe I may have a mouse.  Where I store my dogs food I noticed 2 holes on each side of the bag. There were bits of the shredded paper but also what I think was mouse droppings.  I have removed the food and stored in an airtight container.  Any advice if it returns?


 Answer: Dear Liz:

You have the right idea when placing this food source in a tight fitting container.  It should be a metal container or a container that your pet store will guarantee not chewable by mice.

If the droppings are the size and shape of rice and dark in color, you do indeed have a mouse incident.

Mice become reproductive at six weeks of age but will not populate greater than an available food source.  There are exceptions such as a sudden influx of mice caused by some act that caused mice to vacate some external habitat and enter your home via some infrastructural access such as the sewer or when they've been displaced by demolition or, as an example, removal of an outside woodpile.

If you have closed down the mouse food source, they will become stressed and will seek any possible food source.  Perhaps they are also feeding directly under your stove top burner where food and grease have fallen.

I would recommend using an anticoagulant such as D-Con.  Eliminate other food sources, and monitor the bait consumption.  Be sure to vacuum all mouse droppings so that you will know when there will be no more droppings.

A good place to place bait may be in the attic where the soil (stack pipe) passes from roof to sewer line.  Mice will make holes about the diameter of a man's index finger in blown  insulation or batting when they nest above the kitchen or bathroom.  The longer their presence, the darker the coloration of these holes. The body grease of mice will stain surfaces that are repeatedly contacted.

GM

American Pest Solutions

 

Question

I turned on my upstairs unit after not running it for a few months, and it smelled like something died in there! Sure enough, I went to pull out a bag of oatmeal from my cabinet and IT got to it first. So, my question is, how do I go about finding where in the unit the dead mouse is?


Answer

Locating the source of the smell may be difficult, since the dead mouse may be behind a wall but near a wall socket or electric plug, above a dropped ceiling, or above a canned ceiling light.

Usually one does not sense a dead animal odor that is entirely enclosed in a wall unless the base boards are hiding separations in wall/flooring.

Waiting out the odor is the usual endurance trial. Odor mitigators are less effective unless placed directly at the smell locus point. Oil of citrus can help since it will deaden the offending odor to your olfactory perceptions during that odor's presence. After two weeks, the odor should disappear.

You may never find the dead offender. There can be an aftermath of such a smell in the form of scavenger insects such as flesh flies, carpet beetles, or larder beetles. I see this as more prevalent in larger dead animals such as rats or larger animals. Birds can also cause a bad smell to invade the home, and these will often attract scavenger insects as well.

I hope to have been helpful Heather.

Best wishes,

George Manning
www.consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Tracy


Mice


I've owned my home for 5 years and never aware of any mice....I found droppings and torn goody bags in my snack drawer the other day.  I got one of the d-con traps that looks like a hockey puck....caught one mouse in the trap today....if I have one does it mean I have more than one?  I only see droppings in the corner section of my kitchen, in the drawers and on the counter....in order to get to the other part of the counter they would have to walk on my stove, is that possible, I haven't found droppings anywhere else.  Thanks.



Hello Tracy--

A female mouse becomes pregnant at six weeks and during nursing becomes pregnant again. Food supply is essential.  Even scraps below stove grill are consumed by mice.

Do you keep grass seed in your garage, bird seed, cat or dog feed?  Take time to check crawl space ledges for droppings, vinyl siding that is separated from wall at base of wall.  Rubber insulation that is chewed around copper tubing into house.  There must be a staging area outside of house in wood pile below sidewalk, along fence row.  Mice usually don't move far from there previous habitat.

Place D-Con anticoagulant bait where you see droppings.  Keep bait available until you do not see dropping any longer.  To double check, make three thumb-wide opening in an empty shoe box. Line the interior with glue boards set back slightly from the entrances to allow mouse entry.  Place box along a wall away from a corner.

Check your attic's insulation.  Thumb-wide holes in this material indicate nesting.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

mice


Every year I set  mouse trapline in my barn. I catch a lot. This year I have caught 95 mice in less than 48 hours. I am wondering if there is a mathematical formula that would let me know how many I have yet to catch.


Also, is there a better way to catch them than Vicktor's mouse traps which I have found to be the most durable, yet setting each trap over and over is time consuming?  I only set 20 at a time because of this.
I have two outdoor cats that are ferral but live in the yard.  They must not like mice.
 

Mice; either deer or house mice reproduce rapidly.  On the average house mice will produce 80 young in a year, from a single female from the time she matures at 35 to 42 days adding 19 days for gestation, and considering that she will become pregnant again while she is still nursing her first litter.  She can, at times produce two litters going in the same nest.

Deer mice are not as prolific; producing an average of four young, conceiving at 5 to 6 weeks of age and delivering in 21 to 24 days.  She will produce 2 to 4 litters per year and can live up to 24 months if she survives predation.

In both cases, these rates are subject to available food supply.  The case being limit the food supply if possible.  I would recommend placing anticoagulant baits in feeder hoppers at strategic locations where you have been catching mice in traps.

In a barn, it could be useful to fill a tub with water, provide a ramp with a cardboard end so that mice will walk to the end and bend the cardboard, and fall into the tub.  You can place a floating board in the middle which can old several mice but no more.  Those climbing to the board will attract other mice to fall in.  There are variations of this idea.

Don't bother setting those traps as the preferred control.

Best wishes to you Sally, and happy Fourth,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

mice


Every year I set  mouse trapline in my barn. I catch a lot. This year I have caught 95 mice in less than 48 hours. I am wondering if there is a mathematical formula that would let me know how many I have yet to catch.


Also, is there a better way to catch them than Vicktor's mouse traps which I have found to be the most durable, yet setting each trap over and over is time consuming?  I only set 20 at a time because of this.
I have two outdoor cats that are ferral but live in the yard.  They must not like mice.
 

Mice; either deer or house mice reproduce rapidly.  On the average house mice will produce 80 young in a year, from a single female from the time she matures at 35 to 42 days adding 19 days for gestation, and considering that she will become pregnant again while she is still nursing her first litter.  She can, at times produce two litters going in the same nest.

Deer mice are not as prolific; producing an average of four young, conceiving at 5 to 6 weeks of age and delivering in 21 to 24 days.  She will produce 2 to 4 litters per year and can live up to 24 months if she survives predation.

In both cases, these rates are subject to available food supply.  The case being limit the food supply if possible.  I would recommend placing anticoagulant baits in feeder hoppers at strategic locations where you have been catching mice in traps.

In a barn, it could be useful to fill a tub with water, provide a ramp with a cardboard end so that mice will walk to the end and bend the cardboard, and fall into the tub.  You can place a floating board in the middle which can old several mice but no more.  Those climbing to the board will attract other mice to fall in.  There are variations of this idea.

Don't bother setting those traps as the preferred control.

Best wishes to you Sally, and happy Fourth,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Question
Hi there,
Question
We have heard mice in an interior wall from time to time. They eventually die and stink. We opened the wall and found about 2 dozen skeletons. What we can't figure out is how they are getting in there. There is one hole that the electrical cord goes through, but it is pretty tight. The mice are in between studs with one corner having the biggest concentration of dead mice. I have bait outside that wall that does get chewed on. I can't find any entrance holes. I'm at a loss as to how to stop them from entering and need to re-drywall that wall, but not until I can find out how they are getting in! 


Answer
Hello Donna---

I have been away for a while, and my site was unavailable until today.

I don't know if you attempted to reach me; however, I found you, unanswered, in the question pool.

If you have a vinyl sided building, mice can enter the building from the point where vinyl meets the foundation wall. Often, when buildings are sided with aluminum or vinyl, the siding leaves a space at the base of the siding, where mice can fit behind the siding, thereby, gaining entrance to the building. This will be most common where the enclosed back porch meets the building proper.

Mice can enter a building from within the sewer. This access is less frequent, however, this is not uncommon. You should check the HVAC tubing that enters your building. In addition to being a possible point of entry, mice will nest within the compressor unit. Mice will locate an electric power source that enters the building through a prepared hole. The exterior electric cabinetry can hide the bored opening that permits the electric line to enter the home.

Check your foundation wall all around the building. There may be other possible egress; for example, below the front, or side stoop that rests below the front or side doors.

You can find 1&1/2 inch black plastic tubing. It comes in 10 foot lengths. Cut the tubing in 12 inch lengths, driver a 12 penny common nail through a center point of the tubing, place a wax bait block within the tube, and following the addition of the block, drive a second nail so as to capture the block between both nails. This will provide you with safe baiting within and without the home.

As regards mouse proofing, use galvanized wire lath. Where there is space fore mice to squeeze behind the vinyl, fold a section of the wire so as to get a tight fit between external wall and vinyl. If needed, drive a small screw into vinyl in order to hold the wire in place.

Similar techniques can be fashioned where separations show up along the building's exterior.

I hope that I've been helpful, Donna.

Regards,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
www.pestproblemssolved com

 

Mice
We have caught two mice in our house, and know that there is at least one more, as it has eaten the food in the trap, but is quite a Houdini. There may well be more, as there is an inordinate amount of droppings, all in odd places like window sills, my desk, etc. None in kitchen! My question is: we are finding two distinct types of "droppings", the tiny brown kind that are tubular but flat on both ends, and then many that are white and look like seeds.  Are both of these "droppings" mice feces, or is something else going on here?
 

Answer

When mice have a guaranteed food supply, and ample nesting locations, such as the insulation in your attic, or wall insulation; you have the formula for rapid expansion of that species.

A female mouse is reproductive at 6 weeks on the average, is pregnant with her second litter while still nursing her first.

Do you leave cat, and,or dog food out at all times?  Are you finding mouse droppings below the stove burners?  Do your window shades have ropes hanging to the floor?  Are your stored food products protected in metal or plastic containers with tight fitting lids?

White droppings can be the result of age. Sometimes they will appear white after years of exposure.

Finally, baiting with anticoagulants would be preferred over attempting to reduce a massive problem with traps or glue boards.

Something as logical as mice opening a package of rice so that their droppings are commingling with the rice, could be an explanation.

Check out the attic and any crawl spaces, as well as storage below back porch.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com


Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

mice or rats

Question
A while back we had a mice infestation problem in our apartment which is on first floor above the basement. we saw tons of mice droppings, We put out tons of traps and got some professionals to close up holes... caught quite a few, and it went away.
Just recently , 3 years later- it is starting again, but this time it is quite strange. We are putting out tons of traps and poison and catching NOTHING. We are seeing them, but we find NO droppings ANYWHERE. Outside there were rat problems by the garbage of the apt building- so truthfully i wouldn't even know if they are baby rats or mice. In either case my question is- why are we not catching ANY and why are we not seeing ANY droppings ANYWHERE - even though i see them clearly in the open- they don't even wait till night- or when it is quiet to come out ( especially in kitchen area)
what can this mean????

Answer
Peggy

You may be seeing young rats if you are comparing sizes of mice and rats. I say this because you are stating that you see no droppings, and yet, you see similar sized rodents that you think , could be rats.

Check for droppings below the top stove burners. Mice will be leaving droppings there if they are frequenting the kitchen. Rats will leave droppings of larger size but not always so easily seen, as they are likely left under the stove, below the base of the kitchen sink, or near the point of egress to your apartment.

It sounds to me as if you require expert advice. Don't you think it worthwhile to contact the building exterminator? If yours is an apartment within a complex with a number of apartments, the building owner can be made to pay for these services. I recommend that you e-mail the owner, stating that you are suffering these problems, and that you expect him to follow up with an investigation followed by a correct treatment of the infestation.

 

Mouse droppings in attic

My husband found some mouse droppings in the attic.  A little on and a little under insulation.  We basically haven't touched it and I don't know if it's better to leave it alone or to clean it up.  I'm not sure what health risks are associated with it.  Also, if it should be cleaned up, how do we go about it?  Does the insulation have to be removed?  Should we do a full inspection under and all insulation?  Just so you know, we do have an attic fan and soffit lighting which is covered by the insulation.  I appreciate your response and help.

Answer
 

Mice travel to the attic via the pipe enclosure that contains soil stack and other building mechanicals.  Of course, they can also climb ivy to the attic level from the building' exterior.

The mice will travel up and down along these hidden routes, feeding in garbage, below stove grills where grease and food particles drop, pet food left chronically for the pet, etc. 

Mice would not be able to build population of size without having a steady food supply.

I would not bother with the existing droppings that you cannot reach; certainly not going to the great lengths of insulation removal.

Once the feces is dry and out of your daily activity areas, don't go to the expense of remediation.  Rather, place your dollars on mouse proofing the house and placing emphasis on exterior mouse control.

If you need further direction, I'd be glad to guide you.

Best wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

george@pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control and Exterminator

 

mouse extermination

Question


We have an infestation problem with mice every autumn.  I have made extensive attempts to prevent them from the entering the premises, such as blocking all openings with coarse steel wool or screening, but so far to no avail.  I set spring traps both inside and outside the house and have caught many this way.  I hesitate to use poison or to call professional exterminators, who I expect would use poison, because of the risk of mice ingesting the poison, then crawling to an inaccessible spot (such as in a wall cavity) and dying, there being no way to remove them.  My question is:  can professional exterminators use poisons other than anti-coagulants which, unlike warfarin, will kill the mice quickly so that they cannot enter or re-enter the house?


Answer


For the future, you can place a bait block perimeter guard around the property that will not be accessible to dogs, cats, chipmunks, and squirrels.  Purchase 10 foot lengths of black 1%261/2 inch diameter pbc tubing.  Cut lengths 12 to 18 inches, place a bait block of any mouse poison that you choose, and drive a 16 penny nail at both sides of the block in order to hold poison in place.  The nail, which protrudes, can be driven into a surface, or merely left to hold the poison in place.

As to the exclusion process; steel wool is not the medium of choice.  Use galvanized wire lath cut to size; placing this into the cracks and crevices.  The wire can be held in place with a quick drying foam material.  Use a low pressurized substance for better controlled release.

In addition, the current problem may have never entirely gone away.  Have you checked your attic space for tiny thumb-wide holes in insulation, especially surrounding a soil stack or duct?

If this is a small, newly arrived, few mice, try using a shoe box sized container in which, three holes are placed; one at each end, and an additional one at one side.  Within the box, place glue boards.  Initially, prior to glue boards, place some bait for free feeding.  Once the mice have used the box, it will be easier to catch them on a glue board.

You can also use typical traps; unset at first, by placing peanut butter, bacon, or some other attractant on the trigger.  After mice have crawled over the trap, it will be easier to catch them using the same attractant, but this time, setting the trap.

Vinyl siding is difficult to mouse proof, as is aluminum.  The corners that are held in place with a fastener, are always open to mice from the bottom.  These should be sealed with wire as described above.  Check your HVAC tubing or other inlet lines that could be used for mouse entry.

Often, the electric meter that supplies your building, provides hidden access to the home.

Removing storage from the immediate surroundings will help to reduce breeding locations.  Be sure that bird and grass seeds are not stored in their original packaging, but place contents in a durable container with a tight-fitting lid.

Quick-acting poisons will not be available to you unless you create them yourself.  As far as I know, these are placed under a restricted label, which prevents the home user to purchase such.

I hope to have passed along some helpful suggestions Bruce.

Best wishes,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


www.pestproblemssolved.com

 

Expanded Question:

Hi George,



I have a small boat stored under our summer cabin. The boat has exposed areas of plastic and foam flotation which cannot be covered. The cabin crawlspace cannot be easily sealed, it is about 10% 'porous'. The rats, mice, and other small critters, are ruining my boat by eating the seats, and other foam areas.

Is there anything I can do to prevent this? What do you think of ultrasound devices, mothballs, mint oil, and other repellents like Rat-away?

Thank you and Regards, Ken.

Answer:

When you define your boat situation as rats, mice, or other small critters, the overall concentration becomes more elusive.  I am prone to believe that a persistent gnawing of your furnishings is that of a mouse problem or a rat problem but not both at the same time.  It seems to me that with such persistent activity, where the two species are at the same location, mice would be the more inhibited.  Rats could and would seek to destroy mouse nesting, and their population if both were resident populations.



May I suggest that you never eliminated the existing problem; the base population generating replacements for every one that is destroyed.  other than that, if the boat is not beached, how are mice or rats arriving on board?  would they be so available that they continually climb your mooring ropes?  I doubt that this is the case.



possibly, when the vessel is dry-docked, your infestation had its beginning.



You must reduce available food supply or keep contained and unavailable.  Over bait with anticoagulants.  My favorite is produced by Bell Labs, and is called Contrac.  Order product from a supplier.  You can find our supplier on our website, www.pestproblemssolved.com.



Please contact me again if I can be of further help.



Good hunting and best wishes Ken,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


Pest Control Chicago,
American Pest Solutions

 

Ford


Rats and Mice


We live in Miami and we have become over run by little grey mice and can't seem to get a hold of the situation. Have put out poison, but hasn't really worked. Is the anything out there that is affective in keeping those little guys out of the house?
 


Hello Ford:

This is a revised edition of the original sent to you.  I often use questions answered on our website as a teaching aid.

Since you live in a subtropical climate, your home, itself, can serve as a staging area for mice to sustain themselves.

Food supply is a necessity for mice to build up a sizable population.  In northern climates, focusing on available indoor foods can cut back an infestation that has become troublesome. When alternative food availability has been eliminated, the existing population would become stressed, and therefore, the immediate addition of poison bait would heavily impact that population, bringing the condition to point 0; providing that baits are supplied in sufficient amounts, and sustained until all is quiet.  When an introductory mouse condition appears, the response is to find out where mice are entering, and particularly where they are building an exterior population.  If that can not be easily determined; baits, tracking powders, glue traps, or mechanical multiple catch traps may be used along traveled pathways.  Frequent travel can be observed as mouse droppings, urine spikes (build up points where the uric salt is building up from mouse urine), and their body grease marks. Pass-through points are darkened by repeated mouse usage.

As to your area, the thinking must be adjusted to allow for all year mouse movement from both inside and from outside harborage spots.  Mice have continual food sustenance from outdoors.  At first, you must set up a perimeter line of bait on the exterior periphery of the home.  Cut eighteen inch lengths of two inch diameter pbc.  Choose a black or green color rather than white, so that these lengths will not stand out as unsightly. Place anticoagulant bait blocks centrally within each plastic tube.  Drive a sixteen penny nail through the tube on either side of the installed blocks so that the blocks cannot be removed but must be consumed within each tube.  Place each tube, strategically along the outside wall, behind shrubbery or other protective points that allow mice concealment.  Drive a garden metal spike through each tube so that dogs or wild animals cannot easily remove them.

Within your home, place baits under the base of cabinets, behind cabinet walls, along concealed pipe cases or use bait stations.  If you want to use traps or glue boards, place them in a shoe box with one and a half inch openings on both ends plus one more on a single side of that box, and position boxes along walls.  Don't place a box in an inside corner, since mice tend to round corners, possibly passing by the box and not entering the holes as they often do.  Mice, unlike rats, are always attracted to small openings.  Mice will enter the boxes much more readily than simply placing traps or glue boards uncovered. Be conscious of accessibility by children or house pets.

In the meantime, while you await elimination, check the base of your exterior walls for openings that mice can enter.  Do not close off pass-through until the problem ends.  Pay particular attention to the base of vinyl sided exterior coverings where mice can squeeze through slight separations between the subwall and the vinyl siding.  The insulation covering the copper tubing, that passes into your home from the air conditioner compressor, can be chewed so that mice can enter the home.  Garage doors can have points where mice can squeeze below or at the sides of the door.  Plumbing for gas and or water may be points of egress where they pass into the building.

Types of baits to use are varied from poison seed to anticoagulant baits.  It is unnecessary to name other kinds of bait.  In this response, it does not seem to be important for me to deal with tracking powder usage or other kinds of baits.

Finally, I want to encourage baiting as the preferred method of elimination because it is less labor intense and also provides more comprehensive results.  Odor from dead mice may not be a factor, for the most part, since mice tend to die where they are nesting.  The use of anticoagulants will prevent a carcass from bloating and will prevent blood from congealing, therefore; allowing the body to dehydrate.  This phenomenon helps to reduce odor from dead mice.  When death occurs, and if there is odor, you can use an ionizer to neutralize the odor as it reduces over several weeks.
I hope that I have been helpful.  If you require additional help, please contact me again.  Let me know your results.

Best wishes,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Mice/Moles


Hi my name is Clarence and i live in Montana an i have a pest problem of rodents eating all the seeds i plant in my garden before they have a chance to grow and im quite frustrated. I've had this problem for years and i was wondering what i can do to kill these pests?

Answer: Mice/Moles
 
Clarence--

May I suggest that you purchase oil of mustard or garlic or both.  You can also plant in a pocket of cayenne pepper.  the materials will repel rodents while the seeds are allowed to germinate.  Beyond that period, you can prepare a barrier made from galvanized lathing.  Dig a border around the growing area about 20 inches deep. Fold a section 6 inches deep along the length of a sheet of galvanized wire parallel with the edge.  Place the complete sheet into trench with the folded side toward the interior.  When rodents attempt to dig in, they are stopped on the exterior side of the fold.  This is intended for those rodents that burrow or also moles.

Beyond this effort, you will need a wire fence of appropriate height.

 

Black Poop in My Attic


At night I heard sounds coming from my attic, I went to check it out and found small dark black poop. Is this roof rat, mice or squirrel. I found at the corner of the house where something has ate through the wood and made a hole about3x2 in the overhang, by the way I live in back of a creek

You mention roof rat.  If you live on the West Coast, roof rats are present.  Along the Southeastern southern coastline and slightly interior, as well as all along the Gulf coast, these rats exist.  They are not found on the Northeast coast and not in the mid-west or mountain States.

Rat feces are oblong, shaped like an olive pit.  Roof rat feces is fibrous since they diet on vegetation in preference to more animal products; however, they eat anything too.

Squirrel droppings are irregular shaped, more rounded and rough surfaced, mostly dark, and smaller than rabbit feces.

Sounds heard in the 6AM to 8:30AM range as well as 4:30 to 7:30 PM period would likely be from squirrels.

If these sounds are heard from 10PM to 4AM, you may be hearing flying squirrels coming and going.

If you trap, place the appropriate bait in a live trap.  Place the trap where you see the droppings.  Sliced apples will cover all the invaders mentioned.  Contact me again if you need additional help.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

mice or rats

Question
A while back we had a mice infestation problem in our apartment which is on first floor above the basement. we saw tons of mice droppings, We put out tons of traps and got some professionals to close up holes... caught quite a few, and it went away.
Just recently , 3 years later- it is starting again, but this time it is quite strange. We are putting out tons of traps and poison and catching NOTHING. We are seeing them, but we find NO droppings ANYWHERE. Outside there were rat problems by the garbage of the apt building- so truthfully i wouldn't even know if they are baby rats or mice. In either case my question is- why are we not catching ANY and why are we not seeing ANY droppings ANYWHERE - even though i see them clearly in the open- they don't even wait till night- or when it is quiet to come out ( especially in kitchen area)
what can this mean????

Answer
Peggy

You may be seeing young rats if you are comparing sizes of mice and rats. I say this because you are stating that you see no droppings, and yet, you see similar sized rodents that you think , could be rats.

Check for droppings below the top stove burners. Mice will be leaving droppings there if they are frequenting the kitchen. Rats will leave droppings of larger size but not always so easily seen, as they are likely left under the stove, below the base of the kitchen sink, or near the point of egress to your apartment.

It sounds to me as if you require expert advice. Don't you think it worthwhile to contact the building exterminator? If yours is an apartment within a complex with a number of apartments, the building owner can be made to pay for these services. I recommend that you e-mail the owner, stating that you are suffering these problems, and that you expect him to follow up with an investigation followed by a correct treatment of the infestation.

pack rat in my house

What is the quickest, most effective way to get rid of a pack rat?  I have heard 
they are smart and difficult to trap.  I found a pile of dog food in a seldom 
used drawer about two months ago, and had not seen any signs of a pack rat 
until a few evenings ago, when it sounded like there was a bear underneath 
my kitchen sink! I also heard lots of of noise in the basement. The next 
morning when I looked under the sink the rat had removed all of the tin-foil 
from the garbage and had torn it into small pieces, leaving it strewn about 
and sprung both of the mouse traps I had left set.  Also, we keep a pet ferret 
in our basement; is it possible that the pack rat would be attracted to the 
scent of the ferret?  And could the pack rat transmit any diseases to the 
ferret?  Thanks for any help you can give me!

Lana

Answer
 

If you do have pack rats, they look different than Roof or Norway rats.  Their tails are long and somewhat bushy, and they are smaller, when full grown, than other adult rats.

Their behavior is to gather objects for their nests; often shiny objects such as jewelry.

Baiting with anticoagulant bait blocks should kill them.  Place the bait where you hear the noises, and remove competing food stuff.

Contact me further if you require more detailed information.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

Mary


Rat Droppings Clean-Up


I have a house that has been vacant for about 1 yr.  Furniture and personal belongings are still in the house. A rat infestation has been stopped. There has been no new rat activity for about a month. However, there are rat droppings (and dried urine, we think) in several of the rooms. I need help deciding how to manage the clean up. Could I safely attempt the clean up myself or hire professionals? If professionals are hired, what amount is expected?

Thank you.

Dear Mary--

You do have concern that is real and warranted.  Rat urine is always a carrier of Leptospyrosis, a form of Hepatitis known also as Weil's Disease.  You can google the names for detailed information.  Rat droppings, as well as urine may slough off dust that can become airborne, or simply accumulated existing organic matter as dust may dry and become airborne.  If a new occupant's pet cats or dogs have been properly vaccinated, usually all's well; however, young children still crawling may be in danger of exposure.

You can do your own clean-up using anti-bacterial solution, and making certain to vacuum first and then thoroughly wipe down all rat exposed surfaces.  

A professional job with this goal in mind, would be costly.

I am not an alarmist, but you asked about possibilities, and thus, I will add another:  Mites may exist for weeks after rats are no longer present.  You might want to fine fanspray the surfaces after cleanup is completed.  You can use any generic product containing permethrin or some other pyrethroid.  Contact a local pesticide supplier, or look at our website for a link to a supplier who will deliver a product to your door.

American Pest Solutions
Pest Control Chicago

 

Hello, my Mom recently got her engine power cleaned and she suspects that 
the company damaged the wiring on the inside with the pressure. The 
company said it was rats, that there was a rats nest in the engine of her car. 
We found this hard to believe considering it was in late July in a car that 
resides in Henderson Nv. Would it not be too hot for a rat to survive or even 
nest in a car engine that is in the sun, in the drive way, in 110 degree wether? 
The engine prob. gets close to 200 degrees?
 


Rats colonize, and as a community, they interact regarding reproduction and food availability.  Young male rats, newly reproductive are driven off by more dominant male rats; when food is scarce, dominant rats eat first.  I tell you this so that you might know if rats have been appearing around or near your home.

It would seem unusual for nesting to occur under the hood of your mother's vehicle unless there was a significant nearby rat population.  A female could select, what she perceived, a safe location to birth her offspring.  I do find it hard to believe that rats were present under the extreme temperature levels that you say would build up under the hood.

Don't you think that the power cleaning company must provide proof for their "rat claim"?  Pictures would have been important; hearsay, is unacceptable, I would think.  You might contact your the Better Business Bureau, and ask for arbitration before you seek an attorney's advice.

Good luck,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologis

t
www.pestproblemssolved.com

Pest Control Chicago and exterminating

 

Expanded Question:

Hi George,

I have a small boat stored under our summer cabin. The boat has exposed areas of plastic and foam flotation which cannot be covered. The cabin crawlspace cannot be easily sealed, it is about 10% 'porous'. The rats, mice, and other small critters, are ruining my boat by eating the seats, and other foam areas. 

Is there anything I can do to prevent this? What do you think of ultrasound devices, mothballs, mint oil, and other repellents like Rat-away?

Thank you and Regards, Ken.


Answer:

When you define your boat situation as rats, mice, or other small critters, the overall concentration becomes more elusive.  I am prone to believe that a persistent gnawing of your furnishings is that of a mouse problem or a rat problem but not both at the same time.  It seems to me that with such persistent activity, where the two species are at the same location, mice would be the more inhibited.  Rats could and would seek to destroy mouse nesting, and their population if both were resident populations.



May I suggest that you never eliminated the existing problem; the base population generating replacements for every one that is destroyed.  other than that, if the boat is not beached, how are mice or rats arriving on board?  would they be so available that they continually climb your mooring ropes?  I doubt that this is the case.



possibly, when the vessel is dry-docked, your infestation had its beginning.



You must reduce available food supply or keep contained and unavailable.  Over bait with anticoagulants.  My favorite is produced by Bell Labs, and is called Contrac.  Order product from a supplier.  You can find our supplier on our website, www.pestproblemssolved.com.



Please contact me again if I can be of further help.



Good hunting and best wishes Ken,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


Pest Control Chicago,
American Pest Solutions

 

Expanded Question:

Hello.  I am horrified that I apparently have rats in my older (built in 1930) home.  This has not happened in over 9 years.  I recently observed 2 rats run on the electrical line to my roof & have since then observed rats in various areas of the roof (near the gutter line). I have been hearing noises in the attic, walls, & behind cabinets for a while now.  Also, my house is pier & beam so there is a crawlspace & I have heard something "furry" rub against the bathtub (that pretty much sent me running & I have now begun having nightmares). I am a female living alone on disability with limited help.  I want to hire a pest control company & have made calls but can't determine which is the best way to remove them...by using traps or poison bait stations.  I am afraid with the poison they may die in the walls.  Also I have 3 cats & I am concerned that they could somehow be poisoned.  Which do you recommend?  Also, as far as preventing further entry what do you advise?  Is there any way to prevent them from coming over the utility lines in the future?  What sort of repairs/damage should I look for that they could have caused while they took up residence here?  ANY HELP IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!


Answer:

Rats displaying the behavior that you describe, indicates that you have roof rats.  You must be living near the Southeast or West Coast, or along the Southern coastline.  Roof rats cannot survive where the predominant Norway rat presides, which is more Northeasterly, but is also found throughout the Country as well.  It seems that roof rats are better able to operate in the warmer climates, and remain aloof from their Norway rat enemy, which is not as capable a climber by comparison.



Before you attempt to seal rats out of your home, you should get rid of the present dwellers.  I like baits because this approach is less labor intensive, and trapping approaches being an art form.  If you choose baiting, necessary precautions can be taken to avoid injury to child and pet.  Fundamentally, over baiting is preferred to multiple bait replacement.  When rats find an ample food supply, they are less apt to avoid the bait because of the competition factor which keeps less dominant rats at bay.  Anticoagulants also lead to odor from dead rats but less intense than a quick killing product because the blood is less likely to congeal, allowing gases to escape, with less bloating following death.  For the most part rats, feeling weakened, may return to their nesting site.



With roof rats, prebait the traps unset, and allow the rats to familiarize themselves with the trap as a safe food source.  Set multiple traps, all having been prebaited, using fruits, nuts vegetables and tying down the traps so that they remain in place.  Set the traps after a few days of feeding the rats in this fashion, and you may catch all of them.  Place the traps in new locations after the first catch so that the location does not effect association with previous danger.

If you can, hire a professional, it'll be so much easier on you.

Rat, and mouse proofing should then follow.  All holes cracks and crevices that are larger than 1/4 inch should be closed with sheet metal or galvanized wire mesh and then mortared with a mortar mix with 5% of its total volume having added Portland cement.  In other words 95% mortar mix to 5% Portland.



Laura, please contact me if my answers are inadequate, and I'll expand this discussion further.

Best wishes,



George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

My sister recently aquired a car that was stored outdoors. There seems to be big black ants living in it. We cannot locate where they are living but once the car is in use they start crawling all over the place. We have tried ant bait, but they seem to keep coming. (not sure how long it takes to kill the colony after ant bait has been placed) Can you help? Are the ants large black ants or are they a smaller species? Generally, we like to suggest that you test the ants interest in food by placing out a sweet such as raspberry cool aide powder, or a grape jelly sampling and a protein such as grated cheese or peanut butter. In northerly climates the ant appetite will change during the latter days of Summer. It will usually be more successful to try a carbohydrate bait. Drax combined carbohydrate in one tube and protein in another might be the ticket. Advance granular bait for smaller ants, and Carpenter ant bait for larger ants will be a possible application. MaxForce ant baits can also be used. Ants will carry the bait back to their colony where it will be processed by house ants that will feed the papp produced from the bait, to the queen(s) and the young larvae. It will take a few weeks for the colony to collapse and disappear. During that time, do not use a spray product. You want the foraging ants to help you. If they are killed, baits will be inaffecctive. Best wishes Karen, George Manning Consulting Entomologist www.pestproblemssolved.com Pest Control Chicago

 

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I Have Mice!

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I Have Rats!