5 Tips For a Pest-Free Garage

Plastic bins help prevent pests in garages in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

We all know pests love to make themselves at home inside your kitchen or in your attic, but what about the garage? Especially here in Albuquerque, garages are a hotspot for pest infestations. A garage oftentimes provides pests with ample food, shelter, and water, making it a prime spot year-round. Whether you keep your holiday decorations stored away in the garage or your gardening tools, you likely want to avoid dealing with pests every time you have to rifle through your garage. The experts at Pest Defense Solutions are here with their top tips for a pest-free garage all year long.

What Pests Infest Garages?

More than a few pests will likely find your garage to be a haven. Some of the most common ones we experience here in New Mexico include:

  • Mice & Rats. Particularly in the winter, rodents will seek shelter in garages. They can easily build nests in storage boxes and wall voids or even sneak into your car.
  • Spiders. Arachnids are known to spin webs in boxes and in rarely-accessed corners. You can be sure to come across spiders when pulling out holiday decorations from your garage every year.
  • Silverfish. These tiny insects are especially fond of garages and cardboard boxes. Once they are in your garage, they can feed on a number of items: paper, glue, clothing, flour, and more. While mostly harmless, silverfish are nonetheless a nuisance.
  • Flies. Especially in the hot summer months, flies can be a major nuisance. House flies can be found resting on nearly any surface including on walls, floors, window sills and other various objects found in the garage.

Best Tips For a Pest-Free Garage

Keeping pests out of your garage requires many of the same procedures you’d take to prevent them inside your home. This includes:

  1. Installing weather stripping and using silicone-based caulk to seal cracks and crevices.
  2. Promptly fixing moisture issues by repairing leaky pipes and using a dehumidifier.
  3. Storing all food, decorations, and other goods in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids instead of cardboard boxes.
  4. Keeping your garage clean and tidy by blowing it out once a month and sweeping when necessary.
  5. Storing all items up off of the ground when possible, and staying as organized as possible.

Pests in Albuquerque Garages

Dealing with pests anywhere inside or outside your property can be frustrating and even downright dangerous. If you are having trouble keeping pests out of your garage, the expert technicians at Pest Defense Solutions can help!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

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Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

What is Pest Seasonality?

Ants are a common seasonal pest in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Here in Albuquerque NM, we deal with pest problems all year long. Of course, spring and summer sees an increase in pest activity, but pests are active in the fall and winter months as well. Pest seasonality is a term used to describe pest activity in fall, winter, spring, and summer. In order to better prepare yourself for an infestation, it’s important to know what pests are most common during different parts of the year. Following information released by the NPMA, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to share need-to-know info on pest seasonality in our area.

Pests in the Fall and Winter Months

Our mild and wet summer may mean a longer mosquito and tick season that may last through the fall months. Because we don’t experience the harsh cold winters that many parts of the country do, we can expect to deal with pest infestations through the winter months. One of the biggest pest threats this time of year is rodents, who will seek out shelter indoors this time of year. Ants and cockroaches may also find a way inside to seek out moisture that they may be lacking outside.

Winter pests in the South Central United States map
Rodent
Fly
Mosquito
Ant
Cockroach

Spring & Summer Pests in Albuquerque

Every spring and summer, you can expect pest activity to rise again. Our weather encourages all types of pests to reproduce and thrive throughout most of the year. Here’s the ones to look out for:

  • Flies. While mostly a nuisance, fly populations boom in the summertime and can quickly ruin your outdoor events.
  • Stinging insects. Bees, wasps, and hornets will construct nests near residential properties and can be a threat to families.
  • Termites. Our climate is a haven for termites, who swarm in the spring and are at full force in the summertime.
  • Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay a lot of eggs in standing water during the summer months, which is when they’re most problematic.

Pest Seasonality Prevention and Control

No matter what season it is, you don’t want to deal with a pest problem. The best way to prevent seasonal pests is to work with a professional pest control company that can protect you year-round. At Pest Defense Solutions, our exterminators will work with you to determine a custom pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home.

What to Know About Rodents During the Pandemic

Rodents are entering Albuquerque NM homes during the pandemic - Pest Defense Solutions

Albuquerque residents are used to dealing with rodent problems year-round. However, if you’re noticing them more than ever this year, you’re not alone. Since the start of the pandemic, rodent infestations haven’t only been on the rise—rats and mice are becoming more aggressive, too! This is due to the fact that their source of food from once fully operating restaurants has now diminished, forcing them to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, elsewhere often means right inside your home. Not only are rodent infestations a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous as well. With Rodent Awareness Week upon us, the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here with tips to keep rodents out of your home during the pandemic and all year long.

The Rise of Rodents During the Pandemic

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While their presence may be more prevalent than ever, you thankfully do not need to worry about rodents transmitting COVID-19 to you or your family.

That said, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. They also can cause significant damage to your home. With rodents emboldened in the current moment, they will not hesitate to make themselves at home in your home in the coming months. This makes it crucial to protect your property against them now!

6 Ways to Prevent Rats & Mice

To keep you and your family protected from rodents and the dangers they bring, there are several things you can do. Here’s what to focus on:

  • Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  • Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  • Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  • Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  • Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.
  • Get help from a professional rodent exterminator for more exclusion services.

Rodents in Albuquerque This Fall

Rats and mice are typically a common fall pest, but their infestations are exacerbated by the current pandemic. For assistance with keeping rats and mice out, our rodent control team can help. 

Can I Get Termites in the Fall or Winter?

Termites can infest homes in Albuquerque NM all year long - Pest Defense Solutions

Some pests are less active in the winter months. That’s not always the case for termites, unfortunately. While termites tend to swarm in the spring and summer, they are active throughout the entire year. Queen termites continue to lay eggs and colonies will continue to grow this time of year, making it important to stay as proactive about preventing them as always. Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home or property in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. The team at Pest Defense Solutions knows how distressing it can be to discover a termite problem any time of the year in your Albuquerque area home, which is why we’re here to help.

What Are Termites Doing in the Fall & Winter?

Termite colonies are hard at work in the fall and winter as they are any other time of the year. The queens will continually lay eggs. This means that termite colonies will not only stay active but continue to grow during the fall and winter. Maturity is the number one determinant in a colony’s ability to damage your home. A two to the four-year-old colony can cause damage to your property at any time of the year.

Termites need to stay warm in colder temperatures, which is why they will nest 25 to 30 feet down in the soil during the winter. This is why it’s unlikely to see termites this time of year. While this might be the case, it’s still important to look for signs of termites and the damage they cause.

What are the Signs of Fall Termite Infestations?

An infestation can fester for years before ever showing signs of damage on your property. This is precisely why termites are such a feared pest. This fall and all year long, keep your eyes peeled for the following signs of termites and their damage:

  • Discolored drywall
  • Loose tiles
  • Bubbled or buckling floors
  • Holes in drywall
  • Crumbling wood
  • Hollow windows and/or doors
  • Shed swarmer wings
  • Termite frass (feces)

How to Prevent Fall Termite Problems

Termites are a common pest all year long here in Albuquerque, making it important to protect your home from them all year long! Pest Defense Solutions has a number of termite treatment options to keep you safe from these wood-destroying pests not just in the fall but throughout the year. Contact our termite exterminators today to learn more!

How to Keep Rodents Away This Fall

Rodents infest homes in Albuquerque NM in the fall - Pest Defense Solutions

Every year when the seasons change, pest infestations spike. This is especially true for rodents, who get indoors to escape the seasonal changes outdoors in Albuquerque. Like any other type of pest, they will seek out warmth, shelter, and food inside your home. Rats and mice inside aren’t just a nuisance, they’re dangerous too! Not only are rodents destructive, but they can also spread germs and disease as well. The team at Pest Defense Solutions knows how important it is to keep your family safe from rodents. We also know you want to feel comfortable in your home and enjoy the fall season without worrying about an infestation in your home! Read on to learn our top tips to keep rodents away this fall and all year long.

How Do Rats and Mice Get Inside?

The good news is that it’s rather easy to tell when you have rats or mice in your home. Rodents will take shelter in the attic, basement, and garage. They also will infest kitchens, laundry rooms, and are highly likely to invade your trash cans if given the chance. Mice are able to squeeze through tiny openings, jump, and build nests in just about any room you can imagine. A rat or mouse problem often begins when the rodents get in through your chimney, pipes, air vents, and more. Once they’re indoors, they can easily spread and cause damage wherever they go.

5 Ways to Keep Rodents Away For Good

Rodents can get inside easily. It’s important to not only stop their chances of succeeding but also to make your property less attractive to them. Our top tips to prevent rats and mice this fall include:

  1. Cover all vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  2. Use a tight-fitting lid on your trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  3. Protect your eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.
  4. Store food and items properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  5. Seal cracks and crevices. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.

Fall Rodent Infestations in Albuquerque

No one wants to deal with an infestation in the fall, especially rodents! Rats and mice alike can spread germs, chew through wires, and cause destruction. If you think you have a rodent problem or want to prevent one altogether, the rats and mice control team at Pest Defense Solutions can help. Contact us today to learn about our rodent prevention services!

How to Prevent Dangerous Fall Spiders

The brown recluse spider is one of many dangerous spiders in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

In Albuquerque, spiders are one of the most common pests throughout the entire year. Spiders are usually harmless, but they can be a nuisance when they are in the home—or dangerous when you spot one of the more venomous species. Spider populations peak in the late summer and early fall, which is why you may be seeing more spiders indoors more than ever right now! Spiders get inside to escape the heat and to seek out shelter, food, and water. Although most house spiders aren’t going to be of harm, it’s important to learn how to identify the black widow and brown recluse spider. Keep reading for expert info from the spider pest control pros at Pest Defense Solutions.

Black Widow vs Brown Recluse Infographic - Pest Defense Solutions in Albuquerque NMSpiders in Albuquerque Homes

Like any other pest, spiders can get inside through the tiniest of cracks in your home. Broken screens or crevices in your doors and windows often let spiders in. An unkempt yard or lawn will also invite spiders to spin webs and take up residence on your property. You may also notice more spiders when you have other bugs and insects in your property. Spiders will be more drawn to properties that provide them with shelter and food (bugs) inside. Preventing spiders also means preventing the bugs and insects they’re drawn to.

What Spiders are More Dangerous?

The black widow and brown recluse spiders are dangerous any time of year, but are often seeing in or around your home in August and September. Both of these spiders will only bite when they feel threatened, but it’s still important to learn how to identify them:

  1. Brown recluse spiders. These spiders have a darker brown violin-shaped mark on their brown bodies. They build loose, dome-shaped webs for shelter. A brown recluse bite is known to be very painful.
  2. Black widows. These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body. They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground. They can bite when they feel threatened.

Fall Spider Control

Seeing one or two spiders inside your home or business is normal. However, if you see spiders on the daily or if you spot more dangerous spiders, it’s best to enlist the expertise of a spider pest control company such as Pest Defense Solutions. Our team can help control any active infestation as well as prevent future spiders!

The Danger of Summer Cockroach Infestations

Cockroaches are a common summer pest problem in albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Here at Pest Defense Solutions, we get a lot of calls for cockroach problems during the summer months. While roaches are a year-round pest problem in Albuquerque, their populations explode with the heat of the summer. Most roach species are drawn to humidity, which is why in-home infestations are so common this time of year. Cockroach infestations can be frustrating to get rid of, not to mention altogether dangerous. To avoid dealing with a summertime roach infestation, it’s best to learn how to keep them out altogether. Our team has gathered our top tips for cockroach prevention–keep reading to learn more!

How Dangerous are Roaches?

Cockroaches are known to be gross, but they are one of the more dangerous types of pests. Especially in the summer months, cockroach infestations can explode in size. When you have an infestation, roaches can spread germs and filth. Some of the bacteria and germs they carry can lead to a number of transmitted diseases. The presence of roaches has also been known to trigger allergies in certain individuals. Due to the dangers associated with their activity, it’s important to know what you can do to keep them out of your home or business.

5 Tips to Keep Cockroaches away

Even seeing a single roach in your property can be bad news. To avoid a sighting altogether, there are a few things you can do to prevent cockroaches:

  • Seal cracks and crevices in your property. Also install screens over doors and windows.
  • Regularly clean your bathrooms and kitchens. Promptly wipe up messes, crumbs, and spills, and avoid clutter.
  • Securely seal food and store in the refrigerator. Use tight-fitting lids on trash cans.
  • Promptly fix leaky/broken pipes to avoid excess moisture problems inside the property.
  • Pick up all pet food and pet food bowls after mealtimes—never leave food out overnight.

Summer Cockroach Infestations in Albuquerque

If you’ve done all you can to prevent a cockroach problem but have noticed them in your property, it’s crucial to act fast. Roaches are infamously difficult to get rid of without the help of a professional, and DIY cockroach control can be fruitless. The roach exterminators at Pest Defense Solutions can help ensure you stay roach-free in the summer and all year long.

Protect Your Pets From Ticks This Summer

Out of all the common summertime pests, ticks pose a big threat. These parasitic insects are infamous for transmitting the most common vector-borne disease in the United States: Lyme disease. In Albuquerque summertime, the warm weather brings about all types of insects, ticks included. And because people spend more time outdoors this time of year, the probability of having a tick problem at some point is high. Due to the danger associated with these pests, it’s extremely important to learn how to protect your pets and family from ticks this summer. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to provide expert tick prevention tips. Keep reading to learn more!

How Dangerous Are Ticks?

The main concern with ticks is that they can transmit Lyme disease to not just you, but your pets as well. Cats don’t normally deal with ticks as much as dogs do, but they can still latch onto their skin. Ticks can latch onto pets for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. If your dog begins to show odd symptoms after noticing a tick on their skin, the tick could have transmitted disease. Some of the most concerning symptoms to look for include depression, fever, shortness of breath, lameness, loss of appetite, or swollen nymph nodes and joints. If you notice any of these, immediately take your pet to the vet.

6 Ways You Can Keep Ticks Away

Your pets can easily pick up ticks when they are outdoors. Even worse, they can bring them into your home! To keep your pets and family safe from ticks, there are 6 main things to do:

  1. Clean your yard on a regular basis. By mowing your lawn regularly, you can make your yard less attractive to ticks. Cover your trash cans to discourage rodents that could carry ticks.
  2. Rodent-proof your home. Rats and mice commonly carry ticks into residential yards and areas.
  3. Get tick prevention for pets. Talk to your veterinarian about prevention or treatment options, including heartworm protection and more.
  4. Inspect your pets daily. Focus on areas under the legs and around the neck and ears. In addition, look out for excessive scratching, licking, or grooming behavior.
  5. When outdoors, avoid areas with high brush. Ticks are known to be in areas with high grass, be careful to stay on trails when hiking or walking.
  6. Conduct inspections for your entire family. During the summer, regularly check yourself and family members for ticks after being outdoors. They may pass to your pets.

Long-Term Tick Protection

Ticks are common in the summers here in Albuquerque, and many people or pets get them when they spend time outdoors hiking and walking. In general, it’s important to always be on the lookout for ticks. If you need more information on tick prevention, contact our team for more information today!

Tips to Help Identify Wasp Nests

How to identify a wasp nest in the Albuquerque NM area - Pest Defense Solutions

Wasps are a fact of life in the summertime here in Albuquerque. Many types of wasps become more and more active in the summer into early fall, making it likely you might spot a nest or two. Wasp nests can contain anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of insects, making it important to never approach them on your own. However, it is wise to learn how to identify the different types of wasp nests you may come across. The team at Pest Defense Solutions is here with tips to help identify wasp nests in your area–keep reading to learn more!

Where Do Wasps Construct Their Nests?

Wasps are known to build their nests in or near trees, but they can be found in other spots too. Yellowjackets favor areas near the ground, in hollow trees, under porches, and a number of other areas. Mud daubers tend to build their nests in sheltered areas, including under eaves, garages, attics, or on the sides of buildings. Paper wasp nests are often located under and within the eaves of structures, in attics and wall voids, and in other enclosed areas. Bald-faced hornets, on the other hand, like to build nests high up off the ground. This can mean in trees, but also on structures.

How to Identify Wasp Nests in Albuquerque

In New Mexico, we commonly see activity from paper wasps, yellowjackets, mud daubers, and bald-faced hornets. Here’s what their nests look like:

  • Paper wasps. These nests famously look like upside-down umbrellas. Paper wasp nests are often open, and can get quite large in size. They are typically supported by a single stalk and consist of a paper-like material.
  • Yellowjackets. These nests are most recognized. They are a papery material and have a single opening. The inside of a yellowjacket nest can have nearly a hundred tiers of cells. Yellowjackets can also build underground nests that can be enormous in size.
  • Mud daubers. As their name suggests, female mud daubers construct their nests out of mostly mud. The nests are small and tubular in size, often looking like organ pipes. They are typically found in cracks or crevices. Mud daubers are mostly solitary.
  • Bald-faced hornets. These nests are almost always at least three feet off the ground. They are made of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva. They often grow to be the size of a football or basketball.

Wasp nest identification in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Getting Rid of Wasp Nests

No one wants to deal with a swarm of stinging insects anywhere near their property. It’s important to remember that DIY efforts to remove nests are never a good idea–there could be more wasps inside than you realize, which can be very dangerous. Certain types of wasps are capable of stinging multiple times. Because of the danger associated with wasp nests, always contact the wasp removal team at Pest Defense Solutions for any problems you’re having.