Centipedes are one of those pests we hope never to find in our homes. Not only are they a creepy crawly pest, they can invade a home very quickly. Where it can be a rare sight to find one crawling around your home, when you do see one, you will want to act fast before more come and begin breeding inside your residence. Not too many of our customers know much about the centipede or why they can be a threat. Merlin’s Pest Control will share more about the life of a centipede and how you can help to prevent their intrusion into your domicile.
The centipede is a unique species of arthropods. They have many legs; anywhere from 15 to almost 200 pairs of legs. That means their length and size can range from 1/8 of an inch to 6 inches long. However, size varies from species to species and given food sources. Centipedes can move very quickly. They rely on smell and touch due to poor eyesight. Centipedes are nocturnal creatures and are usually only seen when they are foraging for food. Centipedes are reddish orange or brown in color and have various patterns. They are flat where millipedes are more rounded on their back side. However the centipede is segmented with pairs of legs. Each segment of their body is long, much like you’ll see in worms. Since centipedes are nearly blind they do have a long pair of antennae that they use to navigate.
Most people believe centipedes can bite. And yes, in some rare case they have been known to bite. However, they actually have very small mouths. Therefore, instead of using their mouth, they use large claws that are equipped with venom. Although this venom may prove harmful to their prey, it isn’t toxic to humans. Even so, it sure does hurt when they do bite. Centipedes feed on spiders, worms and other small vertebrates. Typically, they only come out at night to hunt. Centipedes are rarely seen due to their nocturnal habits. However you may come across one hiding in dark and damp places near or even inside your home.
If centipedes are found within your home you have two problems. One being the fact that centipedes can reproduce very quickly and you will find a centipede infestation on your hands. The second problem is that they must be finding plenty of food for them to stay within your home. Yes this means you have many other pests within your home. These other pests can cause damage or even prove a health risk to the occupants of your home. To prevent centipedes from invading your home you have two options. One, seal all doorways and windows. Repair any cracks or gaps they can crawl through. Your second option is limiting their food source. Ideally by keeping your home safe from all pests. In so doing, this will keep the predatory pests away as well.
To keep your home safe from pests, including the centipede, contact Merlin’s Pest Control. We can fully protect your home from unwanted pests which can lead to bigger and scarier ones you do not want sharing your home. If you have centipedes or any other pests invading your home, contact Merlin’s Pest Control today.
Most people find spiders to be a creepy, crawly pest. Many will do just about anything to avoid them. There are some surprising facts about spiders that you may not know and since this is the season that we tend to find them everywhere, Merlin’s Pest Control is here to talk about these creepy pests and why you may want them around more than you think.
You may have noticed that everywhere you turn you seem to be running into another spider web as temperatures start to cool down. You aren’t imagining things, there are definitely more spider webs this time of the year and here’s why. Most of the spiders you commonly find around your home and your yard have a seasonal timetable. They hatch during the spring and will lay their eggs and die in the fall. Most spiders will lie low during the summer months and as the temperature starts to cool, they lay their eggs before dying.
Here are some facts worth remembering about spiders the next time you go to smash or kill one:
– Most spiders you find in your home or in your yard aren’t poisonous or harmful to you in any way.
– Spiders offer excellent pest control since they eat many of the pests we find obnoxious like mosquitoes and flies.
– Most spiders you find in webs are females. Males tend to roam around your yard rather than stay put in one place.
– Many spider species will build a new web each day. Chances are, if you destroy a web, they will build another one by the next day.
– There are over 40,000 spider species that live in a variety of environments all around the world.
Even though many of the spider species you find aren’t dangerous to you, there are a couple species that you need to watch for.
– Black Widow Spider – The black widow spider is easily identified by its solid black body and red hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen. They are known to build large, messy webs, and their bite is very painful.
– Brown Recluse Spider – The brown recluse spider ranges in color from light tan to dark brown. They have a very recognizable violin shaped marking on their back. These spiders usually live in dark moist places and avoid people.
If you are bitten by either of these spiders, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The side effects can have serious implications to your health.
Spiders aren’t dangerous for the most part, but their webs can be an annoyance. If you find that you can’t get rid of the spiders and all their webs in your home, Merlin’s Pest Control can help. We will get rid of this pest that can prove to be challenging to remove from your home. Call us today with all your pest control needs.
As the fall approaches, homeowners prepare their homes for the cold months ahead. What some people will neglect is pest control prevention preparation. There are many contributing factors when it comes to pest infestations. Taking some precautions to minimize pests from getting into your home this winter is ideal. Many pests will come into your home to escape the frigid temperatures and look for a comfortable space with a convenient food source. By applying the steps below, you can significantly reduce the amount of pests gaining entry into your home this fall and winter.
1) Manicured Landscape. Following the fall pruning and hedging, immediately dispose of the waste appropriately and do not pile it up. When pruning, be sure the bushes and tree limbs do not make contact with your home or the roof. Avoid letting leaves accumulate and routinely maintain the fallen leaves. Distribute your mulch approximately 12” away from the house.
2) De-clutter. Return all of the landscaping and gardening equipment to the garage or shed. Remove any trash, leaves and other debris that are cluttering around the home. If you have any piled up building materials like unused bricks, stones, blocks of wood, including firewood, relocate them as far from the house as you can in neatly organized piles and on pallets if possible.
3) Clear Gutters & Downspouts. Keep the gutters and downspouts clean by clearing out any debris such as leaves, sticks, dirt and other grit and grime that collects in the gutters and downspouts as this environment make a natural home for many pests. Be certain the downspouts are directing the water flow away from the structure.
4) Outdoor Trash Bins. With the lids consistently fastened, relocate trash bins as far as convenient from your home. Looking for food and warmth, insects and pests are attracted to the trash bins.
5) Replace Bulbs. To hinder the pests with the yellow sodium light bulbs that are designed to not attract insect life, replace your ordinary exterior bulbs.
Conduct a thorough inspection around the exterior your home and when performing your search, keep an eye out for the following weaknesses pests use to their advantage.
– Foundation. Seal up appropriately any cracks and holes that you may have found during your inspection of the exterior foundation.
– Roofing. Rotting or deteriorating wood from the eaves, fascia boards, and flashing need to be replaced.
– Access Barriers. Covering should be installed on all attic vents are sealed tight as well as any utility lines.
– Screens. Repair or replace accordingly the screens of your window and doors.
– Weather Stripping & Caulk. Seal or install weather stripping and caulk if you can see light shining through the seams or a draft.
In addition to the above tips, contact Merlin’s Pest Control and let our experts fortify your home with protective barriers to reduce the pests invading your home this fall. Our experts will customize your pest control needs to prevent common pests from appearing as well as specific needs you have issues with. Contact us today!
Do you have rats climbing on your roof and around your home? You may have even seen rats climbing electric cables or along the blocks wall in your neighborhood. If so, you most likely have Roof Rats invading your home. Roof rats are an invasive and destructive pest. They are ever becoming more widespread across America, and are of course, in New Jersey. Merlin’s Pest Control will share how to identify, control, and prevent roof rats on your property.
Roof rats are easily identified due to their angular body and face, unlike the Norway rat which has rounder features. Norway rats are another common rat species found in New Jersey. Roof rat snouts are longer and more pointed than other rat species. You will also notice they have a big pair of ears and eyes. Because roof rats are climbers by nature, they have a long scaly tail which they use to keep balance and to grip. Roof rats also have straight, short brown fur or sometimes black, and they can grow up to 18 inches long.
Roof rats often nest in trees and on roof tops. They are great climbers and often they will use tree branches, electrical wire or cables, and fences to travel around looking for food. However, even though roof rats prefer the level of higher ground, they will also seek shelter on the ground if they find debris or clutter which they can use to hide in. Roof rats will also climb into attic spaces or basements, especially during unfavorable weather. Roof rats will eat just about anything. They will chew through wire, plumbing, and walls to gain access to both food and water. When a massive population of roof rat occurs, they can cause serious amounts of structural and property damages.
When a roof rat problem presents itself, you will want to immediately begin both control and prevention methods to stop and further prevent roof rats from returning. Start by keeping up the maintenance outside around your home and your yard. Clean firewood stacks and keep it as far away as possible from your home. Avoid leaving pet food or water bowls outside. If you have fruit trees, pick up any fruit that has fallen to the ground. You will want to deprive rats of all resources.
If you need the help of a quality pest control company to help you combat your rodent invasion, Merlin’s Pest Control can help control and prevent rats from invading your home or business. In fact, we can help you handle any pest problem. Contact us today for a pest inspection and custom treatment plan.
Oriental Cockroaches (Blatta orientalis) are often referred to as the waterbug, shade roach, or black beetle cockroach and are well known for their strong odor. Despite their name, Oriental cockroaches are believed to be of North African origin and are a pest invader that most often gains entry to structures through open doors, windows, and sometimes by following pipes and utility lines into homes and businesses. Oriental cockroach populations thrive in many of the major cities located throughout the world including the ports of England, Europe, Israel, Australia, and South America.
The appearance of the oriental cockroach differs greatly in appearance between sexes. The male is smaller than the female reaching a length of an inch with three quarter length wings that are incapable of flight. The female on the other hand can reach a length of an inch and a quarter and lacks wings but instead has large wing pads that are also incapable of flight.
The oriental cockroach is most often found outside living beneath leaf litter, mulch, stones and other outdoor debris. In urban areas, oriental cockroaches can be found living in sewers and storm drains and are well known for their habits of feeding on garbage and other decaying materials. Although roaches can survive up to a month without food, they can only survive for short periods of time without water. The average lifespan of an adult male is between 110 to 160 days with the females living between 35 to 180 days.
During the summer months, oriental cockroaches can be found in and around landscaping beds, moist gutters, storm drains, and sewers. They are mostly active during the late evening, preferring areas that are dark and undisturbed. Other signs of an Oriental cockroach infestation include egg cases which appear reddish brown in color and the presence of feces which appears slightly blunt on one end. A strong odor can often be detected in areas that are heavily infested with oriental cockroaches.
The Oriental cockroach is known to spread an array of pathogens including E.coli, Salmonella and many others including parasites and viruses. The pathogens are often spread on the body and legs of the cockroach from contaminated areas to areas in the home including cutting boards, countertops, and many other surfaces. The fecal matter and skin casts of the Oriental cockroach are known to cause asthma and many other forms of respiratory distress, watery eyes, and skin rashes. They can also cause dysentery, and food poisoning.
If you find evidence of a cockroach infestation contact your Merlin’s Pest Control expert for professional cockroach identification, prevention and removal. Some important things that you can do at home is practice good standards of hygiene along with vacuuming your entire home regularly, and sealing entrances into the structure such as utility pipes to prevent the buildup of moisture and entry of cockroaches into your premises. To learn more about cockroach identification, removal, control and prevention for your Northern New Jersey, home or business, contact the knowledgeable experts at Merlin’s Pest Control today.
Late-summer picnics are in full swing and if you’re out enjoying one when dozens of flying insects intrude on your fun you may automatically assume they are bees but they could very well be yellow jackets, a type of ground-nesting wasp. They are known to be quite aggressive and a vicious retaliation may happen if the nest is knowingly or unknowingly disturbed. Yellow jackets have a black and yellow head/face and patterned abdomen. They are shaped like a thin wasp and have long, dark wings. They get confused with honey bees because of their coloring but honey bees are rounder in appearance and are fuzzy. The hives that honey bees create produce honey while yellow jackets live in nests that are usually found in secluded areas or on the ground. They build nests of paper with scraped wood mixed with saliva. Nests can be found in hollow logs, stumps, rodent burrows etc. Yellow jackets are social insects that live in colonies can contain up to 1,500 to 15,000! Colonies are at their peak in late summer and early fall. This is the most active time and they become more aggressive as the summer progresses because the hive is steadily increasing as the food supply decreases. They like sweets and proteins and this is the reason you’ll find them at outdoor activities like picnics and barbeques. They also like hanging around garbage cans.
Stings can be very dangerous so you need to know how to deal with them. Yellow jackets can sting multiple times because they don’t lose the stinger like honey bees do when they sting. They have a built-in alarm in the event of an attack and will release a smell that alerts other wasps to join the attack to defend the nest. The venom is dangerous only to those who have been stung repeatedly or are allergic to it. The sting of a yellow jacket is extremely painful. There can be redness and inflammation for a few hours after being stung and you may also have fatigue, itching and warmth around the site of the sting. Ice can help reduce swelling and pain along with aspirin and ibuprofen. There are symptoms that are caused if you have an allergic reaction. If you experience coughing or wheezing, difficult breathing or swallowing, hives, feeling dizzy or lightheaded and vomiting or diarrhea, call 911.
There are ways to decrease the chances you’ll gets stung. Vibrations from lawn mowers and trimmers have been known to disturb a nest as a trigger, resulting in a stinging insect attack, even from a distance so be careful when you’re doing yard work. Don’t swat at them. Gently brush them away if they land on you. Watch where they’re coming from and avoid the area. Avoid floral perfumes and lotions that can attract them. Keep garbage cans covered. Pour sugary drinks into a glass so wasps can’t fly into the can when you’re not looking.
If you see a few yellow jackets hovering around a hole in the ground you’ve come upon a nest site and your next step is to leave. Don’t try and deal with yellow jackets on your own. It’s best to get professionals to help you because of the danger associated with stinging insects. Contact Merlin’s Pest Control for our experience in dealing with yellow jackets.
Hornets are found across the United States and are the largest of all wasps. They look similar to yellow jackets with some species reaching up to 2.2 inches in length. Coloration varies from light yellow to white mixed with stripes. They have sturdy, robust bodies with big heads and rounded abdomens. Like other wasps, hornets will build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Most species of hornets make exposed nests in trees and shrubs while others build their nests underground or in other cavities. Nests can range from a few inches in diameter to the size of a basketball and colonies can get as large as 700 workers in late summer.
Hornets are considered pests when they aggressively guard their nests if they feel threatened. Hornet stings are more dangerous than those of bees and are more painful because hornet venom contains a large amount of acetylcholine (5%). They can also sting repeatedly and won’t die after their stinging like honey bees do because they have stingers without barbs that are not pulled out of their bodies. It’s reassuring to know that a single hornet sting isn’t likely to be fatal unless there’s an allergic reaction. The sting(s) from hornets will cause redness swelling and pain. If there’s and allergy to the venom there may be adverse, life-threatening reactions.
Hornets are notorious for building their nests close to us and will enter our home through gaps in the siding of the house or through open windows and doors. Hornets have been known to establish nests inside homes and can be found in attics or wall voids. The most effective way to get rid of hornets is to treat the main cause of the problem; the nest. This can be a very dangerous thing to do though. If you try and do this on your own the hornets will feel threatened and become aggressive. This can lead to them stinging you and anyone around you as they work to defend their nest and their young. Getting rid of wasps doesn’t necessarily mean you need to remove the nest, but you will have to treat the nest and the nesting hornets. Homeowners can keep grass cut short along with trimmed bushes and trees to make their property less favorable to hornets. It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect your property for nesting hornets to catch an infestation before it gets out of hand. If you find a nest the next step is to stay as far away from it as you can and call in the professionals right away.
It’s always best to arrange for professional treatment when it comes to hornets. They can be very dangerous and DIY removal is risky and toxic. Hornet extermination is something only experts should deal with. This will ensure the elimination of the hornets to keep you and your family safe from potentially life-threatening stings. We can also offer tips to prevent any problems in the future. Contact Merlin’s Pest Control if you’re having an issue with hornets or other pests.
Hornets are very well known throughout New Jersey among the locals and we are not talking about our talented athletes on the NBA Hornets team, but rather the pest species. Hornets in general are a nuisance due to their ability to repeatedly sting, what they perceive as a threat. Considering the number of species of hornets that are patrolling the aerial space, in New Jersey there are two common species you should be aware of. With that in mind, we at Merlin’s Pest Control would like to expound on the common species of hornets in New Jersey; the Bald Face Hornet, and the European Hornet.
Relatives of the yellow jackets, bald faced hornets are so named due to being mostly black in color but having the majority of their face white. Having aerial nests and large size; ½” – ¾” long, these hornets have long wasp-like bodies, six legs and feature antennae.
Bald faced hornets are social, living in colonies that include anywhere between 100-400 members in them. During the summer, when population is at their largest, they are frequently spotted building their paper-like nests that are generally 14 inches in diameter and over 24 inches in length, typically at least 3 feet off the ground. They often choose trees, shrubs, utility poles, sheds, and other structures for their nest construction. Unlike many other stinging pests, bald faced hornets do not reuse their nests season after season.
Anyone or anything that invades their space is likely to be attacked as bald faced hornets are aggressive; which makes nest removal fairly challenging. Risks not only include enduring multiply stings, but their venom lingers well over 24 hours causing pain and itching. Those allergic to the venom can experience mild to severe symptoms as well.
European hornets were introduced from Europe into New York in the 1800s and have since spread throughout the country. These hornets are also referred to as Giant Hornets as well because they are so much larger than yellow jackets and are active into the night unlike other stinging pests. European hornets are brown with pale faces and yellow abdominal stripes, featuring six legs and antennae, they have the long and robust wasp-like shaped bodies that are between ¾” and 1 ½” long. Like most hornets, European hornets are social insect and like bald faced hornets have 100-400 members in their colony. They are typically most active in late summer. These hornets can be considered beneficial as they eat grasshoppers, flies, and yellow jackets; keeping their population down, however, they will also eat honeybees as well as tree sap, fruit, and honeydew. Known to repeatedly bang on lighted windows at night, European hornets are attracted to light.
European hornets will protect their nests with a brown envelope of cellulose materials derived of dead wood and often build their nest in the hollow of trees, walls, out buildings, attics and even abandoned beehives. Not only can they deliver multiple stings infused with venom that causes pain and itching as well as allergy symptoms, but European hornets are a threat to trees and shrubs as they strip back the bark to get to the sap.
Summer is the time when wasps pollinate plants and flowers as they feed on nectar. This makes them beneficial but time spent outdoors can easily be ruined by them. They can be noisy and aggressive and people don’t like them because they build nests near homes and sting anyone they perceive as a threat. Wasps are an insect that is neither bee nor ant. They are predatory insects that spend lots of time hunting and catching smaller insects to feed to their young. Not to be confused with bees, wasps have slender bodies, narrow waists and appear to be shiny while bees have hairier bodies. They sting multiple times because their stinger remains intact. The stingers are smooth without a barb at the end that becomes anchored in its victim.
The National Pest Management Association reports that more than half a million people are sent to the emergency room every year because of stinging insects. The sting of a wasp can be extremely painful, more so for those who have sensitive skin. If you or a member of your family have an allergy, a few stings can quickly become serious. While those with allergies to stings are more at risk, anyone can be affected if a large number of them swarm and sting all at once. The sting of a wasp should wear off within 24 hours but you need medical attention immediately if a wasp stings you in the mouth or neck. Medical help is also required if you experience giddiness, nausea, unusual swelling or extreme pain after getting stung.
If wasps invade your property they can become a major nuisance. Wasp venom contains a pheromone that will cause other wasps to become more aggressive; so try not to disturb them. The best way to avoid running into problems with wasps is to make sure your property is free of hives and nests. Walk around your property and look for signs of wasp activity. Look to overhangs, eaves and the underside of porches and decks for nests. Also look at trees, shrubs and sheds. Wasps will not bother you if you don’t bother them. If the nest poses no threat to you then you can just leave it alone. Colonies will become extremely defensive if you try and deal with a problem on you own. Do not disturb a nest if you can help it. Do not throw objects at the nest, don’t spray it with a water hose, don’t try to set it on fire and don’t use insect repellent on it. These methods will disturb the wasps and increase the chance you’ll get stung; and they’re just not effective either.
Wasps can cause serious problems and for this reason, they need to be dealt with as soon as possible. The nest needs to be located because this is the source of the problem. Removing the nest removes the wasps and will get rid of them for good. Trained professionals can properly identify the pest you’re dealing with and the threats associated with them. We also have the skills, knowledge and tools to get the job done fast and safe. Call Merlin’s Pest Control for all your pest control needs.
Summer weather means flowers along with busy bees doing their job. Many of us consider any flying insect with a stinger a “bee”. The first step in determining what you need to do is to know which buzzing insect you’re dealing with. New Jersey is home to three species of bees; honeybees, bumblebees and carpenter bees.
Honey bees are golden yellow with brown bands. Their body is thin and oval-shaped. They measure about a half-inch long and are covered with tiny hairs. They live in hives and are the only social insect with a colony that can survive for many years.
Bumblebees are black with yellow stripes. They too have oval-shaped bodies with tiny hairs covering them and measure about an inch in length. Bumble bees will make their nests on the ground but will nest above the ground sometimes. You may find nests around patios or decks and in soffits of attics.
Carpenter bees look like bumblebees but usually lack yellow stripes. They are more robust in shape as opposed to other bees with shiny bodies that have less hair and can be a quarter-inch to an inch long. They will make holes in wood in order to nest which is the reason for its name.
Bees pollinate plants and crops, making them an important part of the ecosystem. It’s estimated that that up to 70% of U.S. commercial crops, including fruits, vegetables and even nuts rely on the pollination of honey bees. Honeybees have been protected in New Jersey since 2008. According to the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, other than colonies living within indoor structures, it is illegal to kill honeybee colonies without the approval from the appropriate agencies. It is very important to consult with a pest control specialist if there is ever a question about the bees you’re dealing with and make sure you choose professionals that are experienced in bee identification and removal.
1. You can be subject to fines from the state if you destroy a honeybee hive.
2. The sprays you can purchase at the store are full of chemicals and can be harmful to you and your pets if you don’t use them the right way. You run the risk of getting sting multiple times and if you’re working on a ladder there’s added danger.
3. Bees are normally docile but will sting if there any disturbance to their nest or they are provoked. Stings can be painful and even deadly if you suffer a dangerous reaction.
4. Professionals will ensure all traces of the hive are removed. This prevents attracting rodents and other insects. We will also make sure all the bees are removed before closing the area. This is an important step to prevent future infestations because if bees are trapped and can’t get out, they will find their way into your home through air vents and electrical sockets.