Rodents in Home: Protecting Your Insulation

rat covering eyes with paws

Mice and rat infestations are easy to spot if you can recognize the signs. Regardless of the kind of rodent, their habits tend to be the same. They like to chew, chitter and scratch, and leave their dropping nearly everywhere you go. Once you find evidence of a rat or mouse infestation, you can call on the team at Blue Chip Exterminating to clear them out of your property. However, in many cases that’s not all that needs to be done. If the rodents in your house made their way into your home’s insulation, they likely caused damage beyond the scope of what an exterminator is qualified to handle.

What do rats and mice do to insulation? What can you do fully protect yourself fully from rodents and other pests? Let’s answer both below.

Rodents and Insulation: A Toxic Romance

The insulation in the walls and attic of your home functions by slowing the transfer of heat to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Fiberglass batting is the most popular choice for homes in the St. Louis area – and, coincidentally, it is also the most attractive to rodents. It’s soft and fluffy, very easy to tunnel through and tear to eat or make a nest. And since insulated areas are usually dark and undisturbed, they make a perfect home for rats and mice.

These areas are the first targeted when treating rodent infestations. But even if we remove rats and mice from the property, we can’t clean their droppings and other signs of their presence. You can’t clean or repair damaged insulation, and in many cases the best thing to do is replace the material. And we suggest leaving this job to a professional. Rodent droppings potentially contain Hantavirus, which can spread into the air if handled improperly. An expert can replace your insulation safely and effectively. You may be asking, though, do you have to wait for things to get that bad? Replacing even just your attic insulation can cost $2,500 or more on average. Is there a way to avoid costs like these?

Preventing Rodents through Wildlife Exclusion

It’s one thing to work to remove rats or mice from a house. It’s another to look at a rodent infestation and acknowledge that these pests got inside through somewhere. As you read this there are likely vulnerabilities in your property that rodents could get into. And the best way by far to protect your home’s insulation is by addressing these entry points that mice and rats can take advantage of. It’s called wildlife exclusion, and it’s a core component of our rodent extermination strategy. With that in place your property will be cleaner and able to function more efficiently.

Blue Chip Pest Services is well-trained in every aspect of rodent control and extermination. If you want a comprehensive level of service that works with your needs in mind, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to get started!

Can Mouse and Rat Poop Make You Sick?

rats on kitchen sink

Have you found what looks like multiple piles of dirt around the house? If these have sprung up seemingly out of nowhere, take the time to stop and look a little closer. Rat droppings and mouse poop are easy to identify if you know what to look for. Rat poop is dropped in larger groupings, usually near insulation, and each pellet is roughly the size and shape of an olive. Mouse droppings, on the other hand, are longer and smaller in shape with a pointy end. With that in mind, the dirt in your home might not be dirt at all, but an indicator of a potential rodent infestation. If that’s the case, then you need to act quickly, as rat and mouse poop can indeed make your household sick.

Hantavirus: Caused by Rat and Mice Poop

There are risks that come from handling rodents themselves. You can get salmonellosis or rat-bite fever from eating food they’ve contaminated, or even the Bubonic Plague from the bite of an infected rodent flea. But if you have rat or mouse droppings around your home, you run the risk of unknowingly infecting you and your household with Hantavirus. Hantavirus is transmitted to humans through exposure to infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva. It’s a severe, sometimes even fatal respiratory disease that can start with a fever and headaches and end with your lungs filling with fluid. Treatment can be incredibly difficult, so it’s agreed that the best course of action is to keep a clean home free of any rodents.

What to do if you see Mouse or Rat Droppings

If you see a pile of rat or mouse poop around your home, your initial instinct may be to sweep or vacuum it up. That’s sound in theory, but if this is an infected pile of droppings disturbing it can send the Hantavirus into the air. A better course of action would be to put on protective gear and carefully disinfect the contaminated area. This could be done through a virucidal cleaner, bleach and disinfectant, or even just washing fabrics in hot water. Don’t keep the gloves or dust mask you use after the fact, as they’ll likely now be infected and unsanitary beyond repair. And – most importantly – keep in mind that where there are rodent droppings, there are rodents, and they need to be eliminated or removed before causing any more damage to your house or the people that live in it. You need help, and Blue Chip Pest Services is ready to get to work.

Blue Chip Pest Services for Rodent Control

At Blue Chip Pest Services, we know all the major rodents in the area and have 50 years’ worth of experience in keeping them out of your home and off your mind. Rat and mouse poop is a serious issue with potentially devastating consequences, but with the right care, it doesn’t have to get that bad. So if you see a pile of droppings in your home, before you do anything else be sure to contact Blue Chip Pest Services!

Overwatering and Mosquitoes: What You Need to Know

a close-up of a mosquito outside

You need to water your lawn on a regular basis to keep your yard lush and green – but how much is too much? You don’t want to get dry patches from watering too little, though at the same time overwatering brings about its own problems. Excessive moisture in your yard can cause lawn diseases and attract pests like mosquitos. Read on to learn what you can do to prevent mosquitoes and enjoy your yard even more.

Mosquitoes and Moisture

Your lawn needs water, and so do mosquitos. These pests need high levels of moisture in order to live and reproduce. So if your yard has an excess of standing water, it can quickly turn into a breeding ground. Oversaturated lawns can form a thick layer of thatch that will protect mosquitos and other insects from predators and even certain pesticides. You don’t want to get to that point, so it’s important to properly maintain and irrigate for a healthier lawn you can use without being bothered by bugs

Am I Overwatering My Lawn?

How can you tell if you’re overwatering your lawn? Too much water in your yard can stunt root growth and make your grass more vulnerable to fungus and disease, but it might not be apparent until the damage is already done. Luckily there are warning signs you can look for to know if you’re watering to excess.

Squishy Soil 

There’s something called a “step test” that is a great way to tell if your lawn is oversaturated. It’s easy – all you need to do is step on your lawn in multiple places that haven’t recently been watered. If the soil feels squishy or soggy under your feet then it’s a good sign that you’ve watering too much.

Weeds and Fungus

You may have noticed that properly watered yards aren’t full of mushrooms and weeds. That’s because they need water to grow and thrive. If you notice this kind of foreign growth sprouting in your yard it may mean you need to water less. It’s also smart to remove these kinds of growth as you find them, as they can attract insects and potentially cause illness if consumed by children or animals.  

Runoff

You may not know this, but it’s possible for your soil to be completely saturated. That means it will no longer absorb additional water, resulting in a trail of runoff that strips the lawn of important nutrients. This leaves your yard vulnerable to certain diseases, as well as insects and fungi growth.

Can I Prevent Mosquitoes?

The easiest thing you can do to prevent the growth of mosquitos is to make sure that you aren’t overwatering your yard. Even if you live in an arid climate you may not need to water on a daily basis. The general consensus is that your lawn needs around 1-1.5 inches of water per week, which roughly equates to three days of irrigation for around thirty minutes a day.

Mosquito Control in St. Louis

Mosquitoes, whether they’re after an overwatered lawn or another source of standing water, can be a nuisance to any homeowner. You should be able to enjoy your lawn without a swarm of stinging instincts getting in the way, and with Blue Chip Pest Services, we can make that happen. Our team is expertly trained, and we go above and beyond to provide innovative and customized pest control solutions for homes and businesses throughout the St. Louis area. Contact Blue Chip Pest Services today and increase your enjoyment of your outdoor space.

What Are Those Tiny Red Bugs?

A clover mite in St. Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Have you been noticing small red bugs crawling around your home or business in St. Louis MO recently? They’re probably clover mites! We’re experiencing a higher number of these tiny pests this year, which has led to lots of calls and questions about dealing with them. Are you wondering what they are or how to get rid of them? Read on to learn all about clover mites from our technicians at Blue Chip Pest Services!

What Are Clover Mites?

Clover mites are a part of the arachnid family, meaning that they are related to spiders, scorpions, and other eight-legged invertebrates. They are some of the smallest arachnids at only 1/30th of an inch long. A closer look will reveal a rounded body, two antennae, and a vibrant red to brownish-red color.

You’ll often find clover mites in your garden, near your houseplants, or around your fresh produce. This is because clover mites feed on vegetation, the same reason that they’re so active in the spring and summer. Shrubs and bushes provide an easy site for a clover mite problem to develop because overgrowth can allow them to reproduce and thrive undetected.

How to Get Rid of Clover Mites

Fortunately, clover mites do not bite, sting, or pass on diseases to humans. The biggest nuisance that they cause is leaving staining on walls, furniture, and curtains. That said, though, it’s never fun to have unwanted bugs crawling around in your home or taking over your garden. Here are some ways you can get rid of clover mites:

  • Get rid of the plants they’re infesting. You may not want to do this out of appreciation for the chosen plant, but if your clover mites are confined to a small region of your yard or home, a sole plant could be the problem.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner. This won’t address the source of your problem, but using a vacuum cleaner is a sure way to get rid of any clover mites on sight.
  • Use sticky traps. Sticky traps can help to catch clover mites that you might have missed with your vacuum. If you place these traps around the places that you think they’re getting in, it could curb the flow of pests into your home.
  • Call an exterminator. If you can’t figure out how to get rid of your clover mites, an exterminator will be able to tell you where your problem started and help you put it to a stop.

Pest Control for Clover Mites in St. Louis MO

If you need help getting rid of your clover mites, reach out to our technicians at Blue Chip Pest Services. We can send out an exterminator to conduct a property inspection aimed at finding all vulnerabilities and setting up a removal plan. With an emphasis on teaching our customers how to prevent future problems on their own, our service is geared at keeping homes and business clover mite-free for good. Reach out today for a free quote!

How Do I Get Rid of Nuisance Wildlife On My Property?

A skunk in St. Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Having nuisance wildlife living on your property is one of the most feared pest problems of homeowners we’ve helped around St. Louis MO. With smaller insects like ants or flies, it’s fairly easy to conduct your own DIY pest control, in most cases. However, when it comes to wildlife like skunks and raccoons, people hesitate to take matters into their own hands out of caution.

We’re here to tell you that this is the right reaction! Wild animals are unsafe to handle without professional training and must be dealt with sensitively. If you’re looking to learn the best ways to prevent and get rid of nuisance wildlife, read on for advice from the Blue Chip Exterminating technicians!

Wild Animals in St. Louis MO

Preventing wildlife problems around your home means learning about the habits of local species of wild animals. These are some of the most abundant wildlife pests in St. Louis:

  • Skunks: Everyone knows why you have to be extra careful when there are skunks on your property. If they can find a spot for a den or something to eat on your property, they might stay.
  • Raccoons: Although they don’t stink as bad, raccoons usually come in greater numbers looking for the same things as skunks.
  • Rodents: Rats, mice, moles, and other local rodent species are probably the most invasive group of pests around St. Louis. Small enough to sneak through hidden cracks in your walls, foundation, plumbing fixtures, and roofing, they sneak inside our attics, crawl spaces, and other hidden areas of our home to look for food and warmth during the winter.

How to Prevent Wildlife Pests

There are several ways that you can make your property less attractive to wildlife in general. Add these strategies to your regular home maintenance routines to get rid of raccoons, skunks, and other local nuisance wildlife:

  1. Take your trash out often and use sealable bins. Keep your outdoor trash cans as far away from your home as you can.
  2. Clear your property of any yard waste that accumulates routinely.
  3. Keep your bushes and trees trimmed and out of contact with your house.
  4. Wash dishes and clean spills promptly. Make sure that your food is sealed and stowed away after eating, too.

Wildlife Control Experts in St. Louis MO

If these tactics don’t help you get rid of skunks, raccoons, or otherwise, tell your local pest control company about your problems. At Blue Chip Exterminating, our team of wildlife removal experts are licensed, certified, and trained to the highest standards of wildlife control. We can safely capture and relocate wildlife living on your property and identify the vulnerabilities that caused your outbreak. To stay pest-free in your yard, contact our team today!

 

How to Keep Pests Out During the Holidays

A cockroach in St. Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

As we get closer to the holiday season and all its festivities, it’s important to remember how easily pest infestations get started around this time. With all of the gatherings of people, gifts coming to and fro, and decorations making annual appearances, there are plenty of opportunities for pests to spread around. If you’re wondering how you can prevent pests in St. Louis MO this winter, read on. Our technicians at Blue Chip Pest Services are here to teach you about how infestations usually start during the holiday season and what you can do to prevent them.

How Do Pests Spread During the Holidays?

You might be wondering, what do pests have to do with the holiday season? There are actually novel opportunities for pest infestations to start during the holidays—here are some of the main ways that pest infestations start during this season: 

  • Coming out of storage: Lots of people like to decorate their homes with decor that doesn’t see the light of day for most of the year. Stowing away your decorations leaves pests with the opportunity to make homes in your boxes.
  • Arriving in packages: Sometimes, during the shipping process, some packages can become infested with pests. Cockroaches and pantry pests are some of the top offenders of this type of infestation.
  • Living in plants: The holidays are associated with wreaths, garlands, and trees, all of which can serve as hiding places for pests.

3 Tips to Prevent Holiday Season Pests

You have to be extra careful not to let pests take over your home during the holiday season. These are the three main ways we recommend you take precautions against pests during the holidays: 

  1. Shake out your trees and greenery before setting them up in their places for the holidays. You might find that some unwanted guests fall out. 
  2. Check your decorations and the boxes that they’re stored in for bite marks, pest droppings, and other damage. It could be a sign that pests are inside.
  3. Make sure that your firewood isn’t infested before bringing it inside. Ideally, you should store your firewood outside, away from the house, and off of the ground.

Holiday Season Pest Control in St. Louis MO

Whether you’ve had pest problems recurringly in your holiday history or you’re looking to get a head start on prevention, the technicians at Blue Chip Pest Services have you covered. We understand the needs and particular problems that St. Louis residents have and conduct holistic pest control services to combat them. We can inspect your home and storage spaces to discover any active pest populations or vulnerabilities and apply pertinent pest control products or techniques to defend your home. Don’t let pests spoil your holiday season—contact our team today for a free quote!

Chipmunk Damage and Your Home

Chipmunk in St Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Did you know that chipmunks are a part of the rodent family? As cute as these creatures can be—especially with their big cheeks—they can also be quite a nuisance if they make their way onto your property. Rodents such as chipmunks may seem harmless out in the woods, that is until they decide to make your home theirs, nesting under your patio, stairs, or retention walls. Before winter settles in here in St. Louis MO, it’s important to learn how to safeguard your home or business against rodents and wildlife looking to hunker down for the cold months ahead. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about preventing and getting rid of chipmunk problems for good!

Are Chipmunks Destructive?

Chipmunks are climbers but prefer to spend their time in underground burrow systems that are quite elaborate. They will create nesting chambers and storage rooms to house their young and the food they’ll need during the winter such as nuts and seeds. These small creatures may look pretty innocent, but the truth is they can cause quite a bit of damage to your home. Some of the main dangers of chipmunks are as follows.

  • They cause structural damage to your home and surrounding structures.
  • Chipmunks burrow under your foundation, under walls, and any other dirt surface that may reach 30 feet long 3 feet deep.
  • They are known to consume bird seed, pet food, and precious flower bulbs.
  • Like other rodents, they can spread salmonella and other diseases.

How to Prevent Chipmunks

Keeping chipmunks from getting on or in your property in the fall requires some of the same steps you’d take to prevent rats and mice. These creatures can squeeze in through tiny openings and, once inside, will cause quite a mess. To prevent the destruction they can cause, it’s important to take measures to prevent them in the first place. Four of the main tips you can do to prevent chipmunks are to: 

  1. Store all pet food and bird seed in airtight containers.
  2. Do not feed your pet outside or leave pet food there.
  3. Seal garbage cans and empty the garbage on a regular basis.
  4. Do not store firewood too close to your home.

Chipmunk Control Services

If you think chipmunks have made their way into your home, it’s important to always contact a professional to remove them. Diy pest control methods are never a wise choice for getting rid of rodents, chipmunks included. Whether you want to prevent these rodents before the winter or need an inspection, contact the rodent control experts at Blue Chip Pest Services today!

Why Are Mice So Bad This Year?

Mouse in St. Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Rodent Awareness is just a couple of weeks away here in Missouri. For those not familiar, Rodent Awareness Week is an annual event established by the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) to help educate the public about the dangers of rat and mouse infestations. With fall and winter temperatures upon us, rodent infestations are on the rise. In general, rat and mouse infestations in the past year or two have been more common than ever. But why? Throughout the pandemic, rodents have had to drastically shift their behavior due to all of the closures. To learn more about why you may be seeing more mice than ever in your home or business, read on to learn more with the experts at Blue Chip Pest Services!

Rodents During the Pandemic

When restaurants and bars closed down or limited operations throughout the pandemic, rodents suddenly found themselves without their typical source of food. This forced them to look elsewhere and to compete for the little resources available. Unfortunately, this has led to a direct increase in residential infestations. It is due to this that home and business owners are likely noticing more mice or rats around their properties than ever. This makes it increasingly important to learn how to safeguard your home against the rodents looking to get indoors this fall and winter.

Why Increasing Rodent Infestations are Dangerous

One of the main threats of a rodent problem is their ability to chew their way through your home, making quite a mess in their path. Their droppings, in particular, can be very hazardous. In addition to making a mess inside your home, rodents are infamous for spreading disease. Some of the most notable diseases they are capable of spreading include:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Leptospirosis or Weil’s Disease
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM)
  • Plague

How to Stay Safe From Rats & Mice

No one wants to deal with rodents this time of year. Unfortunately, they’re more common than ever right now, making it important to have prevention measures in place. This is easiest by teaming up with your local rodent exterminators at Blue Chip Pest Services. Contact us today to get started!

5 Tips For Controlling Spiders in Your House

Spider control tips for St Louis MO homes - Blue Chip Pest Services

Spider Control Tips
Most spiders are harmless, but yet arachnids are the most feared of all home pests. You have to sleep at night. Right? So, it’s understandable why homeowners turn to professionals for spider removal services to rid their home of these creepy crawlers.

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Why Are There Bugs in My Bathroom?

Spiders are a common bathroom bug in St. Louis - Blue Chip Pest Control

The last thing you want to see when you’re in the shower or brushing your teeth is a cockroach scuttling across the tiled floor nearby. Unfortunately, all sorts of bugs are attracted to bathrooms! Many types of pests are drawn to bathrooms for a variety of reasons: humidity, moisture, and—best of all—plenty of hiding spaces. To avoid the discovery of creepy, crawling insects in the comfort of your own bathroom, it’s important to know not only how to identify these common bugs, but also how to get rid of them for good. The experts at Blue Chip Pest Services are here to help—keep reading to learn all about common bathroom bugs in your St. Louis MO home.

Why Does My Bathroom Have Pests?

Bugs and pests of all kinds are drawn to bathrooms mostly due to the moisture. Many insects are drawn toward humid, moist environments—so what better place than a steamy bathroom? Leaky pipes, showers, and sinks provide precisely the environment many pests require to survive and reproduce. Your bathroom can also provide insects with plenty of food options. Humid, even moldy areas provide sustenance for some pests. Lastly, a dark bathroom can provide ample shelter for many insects and pests. Whether they’re dwelling in your cupboards or beneath your sink, there could be more bugs hiding in your bathroom than you’d think.

Common Bathroom Insects

No one wants to share their bathroom with insects. Unfortunately, your bathroom is likely a haven for insect problems! The most common pest problems in bathrooms include the following insects.

  1. Silverfish. These nocturnal insects are typically found around sewers or drains, and prefer to feed on mildew and mold.
  2. Ants. A small ant problem can quickly turn into a large one if ants have found a source of food or water in your bathroom.
  3. Cockroaches. Roaches love filth and feed on sewer and drain sludge. They easily get into your bathroom through plumbing fixtures.
  4. Centipedes. These long, spindly insects feed on other small insects that are common in bathrooms, and love a humid environment.
  5. Drain Flies. True to name, drain flies are found around drains. They often appear when there is a plumbing problem in the main sewer line.
  6. Spiders. As predators, spiders like to prey on the smaller insects often found in your bathroom areas.

How to Get Rid of Bathroom Bugs

If you want to prevent bathroom pests, you need to ensure your bathroom is less suited for their dwelling! Always ensure you do not have any leaky pipes or plumbing issues that are contributing to the humid, moist environment. Consider using a dehumidifier from time to time to aid in this process. Lastly, clean your bathroom on a regular basis! Reduce any clutter in your drawers and cupboards, and make sure to prevent any mold or mildew.

If you’ve done all you can to prevent bathroom bugs but are still dealing with roaches, ants, or another pest, it’s time to call an expert. At Blue Chip, we can help get rid of bathroom bugs in your home for good. Contact us today to get started!