April is “National Pest Management Month” – Pest Controllers offer tips
Disseminated by The Caruba Organization
Alan Caruba

April is National Pest Management Month and with the advent of spring, Leonard Douglen, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Pest Management Association, reminds homeowners that pest-proofing one’s home protects against “threats to health and, importantly, damage to one’s greatest investment.”

“Nationwide, termites will do $5 billion dollars of damage to homes and other structures this year,” says Douglen. “Here in New Jersey, as many as three out of every five homes are likely to have active termite colonies and all are subject to a termite infestation because the warm weather triggers the huge numbers of winged termites that will establish new colonies.”

“Without annual inspections, most homeowners are unaware they have an active colony of termites until it has been in place for three or four years,” says Douglen. “When they notice winged termites, usually around window sills, they call a pest management firm. An inspection of one’s home will not only identify the presence of termites, but initiate measures to both eliminate them and deter future infestations.”

Inspections may also find colonies of carpenter ants. In addition to termite infestations, Douglen says that “Carpenter ant infestations can be just as devastating to a home or other structure, but they don’t get the same amount of publicity. An entire colony of Carpenter ants can emerge from winter hibernation and enter a home in the thousands in a single day.”

In the late fall and winter rodent species, looking for a warm harborage, invade homes, “Once inside, they will chew on wires and pose a threat of fire. Since rodents urinate and defecate wherever they go, the potential for diseases increases, particularly when they invade food storage areas.” Do-it-yourself pest control efforts usually fail. “That’s when pest management professionals get the call and that’s when their expertise and the means to trap and control mice and rats demonstrate why their training is essential to controlling such problems.”

As if rodents weren’t bad enough, many homes in New Jersey commonly suffer invasions by squirrels and bats.

“Sealing cracks in the home’s foundation, storing firewood away from the home, cutting back tree limbs that provide access to the roof, and many other steps will be recommended by a professional pest management technician.”

A wide variety of insect pests can over-winter in a home. Wasps and Yellow Jackets will hibernate in void areas under the roof and emerge when the weather turns warm to begin new colonies and build nests.

Cockroaches are nature’s greatest survivors and even a few can swiftly multiply into hundreds once the weather triggers their instinctual behavior

New Jersey is home as well to a thriving population of raccoons and opossums who think that garbage cans are open-air cafeterias. “Taking care to ensure that trash containers are tightly sealed can go far in avoiding unwelcome visitors,” says Douglen.

“Mother Nature never takes a vacation and affords insect and rodents pests, as well as other creatures many opportunities to reproduce in staggeringly high numbers. A home with its warmth, its ample supplies of food and water, and its wood components are magnets for pests of every description.”

Founded in 1941, the New Jersey Pest Management Association’s member firms are all licensed and certified by the Department of Environmental Protection. It maintains an Internet site at www.njpestcontrol.com with information about firms throughout the State and about various pest species.


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