Natural Deterrents and Remedies for Winter Pests

One of the benefits of cold winter weather is fewer creeping, crawling and flying pests swarming in and around the house. But fewer pests doesn’t mean zero pests. Your home and your skin are still at risk for infestations and stinging, itching bites. Some bugs, like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug commonly swarm from fall to early winter as they seek shelter from the cold. In fact, a recent report from notes Kentucky residents are experiencing an infestation of the bugs this season.

If beetles, fleas, termites or winged ants have already infested your home it’s probably best to call in the professionals. But if your home is relatively pest-free you can help keep it that way with natural deterrents. Natural remedies are also effective for treating non-poisonous bites and stings.

Natural Pest Prevention

Regular vacuuming of floors and upholstered furniture is the first step to preventing an infestation of winter bugs in your home. Some critters, like fleas, may go dormant during cold weather, but flea pupa can remain viable for months hidden in floor cracks, carpet and deep between the cushions of upholstered furniture. While the idea of bug pupa hiding in the corners of your home is enough to start anyone scratching, Companion Care Animal Hospital points out that winter is the easiest time to rid your home of bug pupa because they are dormant and not multiplying. Here are some other ways to curtail bugs this winter:

  • Cinnamon – Ants and beetles despise cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon near the entry points into your house and along their trail.

Photo by trophygeek via Flickr

  • Cucumber – Dried cucumber peel may repel ants and cockroaches, according to Enviro Citizen.

Photo by qnsagetyrtle via Flickr

  • Diatomaceous Earth – The sharp grains of diatomaceous earth actually kill many kinds of pests by cutting into their exoskeletons as they crawl through it. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth at entry points and use it around your home’s exterior to prevent some pests from gaining access.

Photo by jsj1771 via Flickr

  • Citrus – The juice and/or oils of citrus fruits may repel fleas and other pests. Make a strong tea from sliced fruit (include the peel), allowing it to steep overnight. Place the liquid in a spray bottle and use on carpets and furniture.

Photo by The Marmot via Flickr

  • Pure Essential Oils – Essential oils can be added to water in a spray bottle for home use or be blended with a carrier oil for personal use. Try a few drops of eucalyptus, geranium or lavender oil in water as a spray for carpets, furniture and pest entry points, or mix the essentials into almond oil to use on your skin. About 10 drops per 8 oz. of water or carrier oil is sufficient.

Photo by shalommama via Flickr

Natural Bite Relief

Bites and stings from “harmless” pests can still be painful or itchy. Assuming there are no allergies, the first course of action is to put the affected area in cold running water to relieve the initial pain, and wash away any toxins on the skin. If a stinger remains, pull it out. If you are allergic to the beast that bit you, immediate medical intervention is advised. Other tips include:

  • Ice – Hold an ice pack on the bite for approximately 20 minutes. It will relieve pain and itching and reduce swelling.

Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr

  • Honey – Not only will it help sooth irritated skin, honey is a natural antibiotic and will help prevent infection.

Photo by Joelk75 via Flickr

  • Cucumber – A slice of fresh cucumber on the bite calms itch and soothes irritation. Cucumber is also thought to draw toxins from the skin. If you’re having trouble removing an embedded stinger, place a slice of cucumber on the spot for a few minutes and the stinger may come to the surface of the skin.

Photo by via Flickr

Rats invading home

Getting rid of mice and rats in the home is a three-part process that is best handled by a trained professional, especially if the infestation is large and entrenched. Here’s a perfect example that shows why wildlife removal services are so necessary in the Florida environment.

This homeowner had an ongoing rodent problem, and this picture shows the reason why, though you might not see it at first. It just looks like a house, surrounded by overgrown shrubs and plantings, but to a trained eye, it looks like rat heaven!

Planting shrubs too close to a house makes a perfect hiding place for rats and mice, who can jump and climb. Overgrown roots and branches can cause openings in foundations and siding where rodents can get in. In this case, the critters were getting in through a soffit opening.

Once we identified how rats and mice were getting into the house, rat removal and mouse trapping could begin. First, we trimmed back the vegetation to take away their convenient hiding places. Next, we closed the openings where they were gaining entry. Then we set humane traps for rat removal and mouse trapping of the rodents that were still indoors, cleaning up droppings and nests wherever we found them.

The result was a quick, easy solution and a happy, rodent-free homeowner. Don’t tackle getting rid of mice and rats in home environments on your own. Doing that can lead to more expensive problems, property damage and dangers to your health in the long term. Our service personnel are prompt, courteous and extremely efficient, and our initial home inspection is free of charge.

Call a professional and get the job done right!

If you are buying a home call for a free animal inspection

photo 2Buying a home is one of life’s biggest events. There’s so much to be careful about. Inspections, contracts, bids and moving in can be very stressful, and it’s easy to let something important slip through the cracks.

That’s what happened to this homeowner. She didn’t think to have a wildlife removal service inspect the property for evidence of infestation. Sure enough, right after she moved in, she heard scratching noises in the attic. She called us for a free animal inspection, and we came out right away.

Sure enough, there were rats in the house, particularly in the attic. You can see their tracks in the dust, here. Apparently, the previous owner was aware of the problem and had done some spot-cleaning to make it less apparent. Unfortunately, the new owner got stuck with a big problem. There was even a hole in the roof where rodents were getting in and out, and the infestation had definitely been going on for a long time.

Don’t let this happen to you! A home inspection is easy to arrange, and it’s free. Animal inspection can find mice, rats, snakes, groundhogs, nutria, deer and almost any kind of wildlife problem common to Florida’s environment. Our service professionals are trained to recognize telltale signs you might not notice at first, and we’re equipped to handle the problem for you safely, efficiently and permanently.

An animal inspection should be right up there with the required home inspection when you’re buying a house. We offer free animal inspections to new homeowners almost every day. Fortunately, we’re going to get rid of the rats in the house for this new homeowner.

Rat Removal Lakewood Ranch


Speaking of wildlife, I get rid of rats in Lakewood Ranch all the time. I’m glad to do this work because it makes the environment safer for people. Rats, mice and other rodents carry diseases, and their droppings cause viruses in humans. They also cause millions of dollars in property damage each year, in the state of Florida, alone.

If you want to get rid of rats in Lakewood Ranch, don’t try doing it on your own with traps and poisons. Those can be dangerous for people as well as their pets. It’s always better to call a professional service. For rat removal Lakewood Ranch FL, my company is one of the best and most efficient. My trained service people quickly identify how rodents are getting in, close their points of entry, trap and remove rats and mice from indoor spaces, and clean up afterwards. We leave your premises clean and rodent free for a very reasonable price.

Mice removal in Lakewood Ranch is quick and easy, too! Our company uses humane traps that are free of poisons. We can also advise you on simple ways to prevent mice from coming back.

Rat and mice removal in Lakewood Ranch has never been easier. Call us for a free inspection and consultation, and we’ll solve the problem fast.

And when you’re out and about, watch out for the deer!

Plants that Keep Raccoons out of the Garden

file4781300045861Raccoons are often perceived as cute ,furry and friendly, with their little black masks and agile paws. The fact is that they are dangerous to humans and pets. Even when they’re healthy, they can be aggressive when confronted, especially if they have young ones nearby. They can kill pets and seriously injure humans. Raccoons carry parasites, vermin and viruses and are a major vector carrier for rabies, which is nearly always fatal without prompt treatment.

Raccoons are also a nuisance animal, particularly for homes that don’t have proper storage areas for garbage cans, and especially for homes that have fruit trees and gardens. Their chattering as they knock over garbage cans and forage through vegetable gardens can make a real mess and keep you up at night!

Once you’ve noticed a raccoon population in your yard, it’s time to take action. There are a number of ways to approach raccoon removal and raccoon trapping, but the first things to rule out are trapping them yourself or using poisons to control them. It’s always best to try non-invasive methods first.

As with deer, there are a number of plants that raccoons don’t like. For flower gardeners, roses are a good raccoon deterrent, and the thornier they are, the better. Hardy hybrids like the gorgeous Abe Lincoln rose have magnificent thorns and gorgeous blossoms. Plant them near your garbage cans to beautify your yard and repel raccoons.

For vegetable gardens, spiny vine vegetables like squash and cucumber will do the trick. Each plant will creep over a large area, protecting other plants like tomatoes, peas and beans. Raccoons will avoid foraging in those areas.

Scents can also repel raccoons. Plant garlic and onions, and their strong odor will warn them off. They take some time to grow, so if you’re in a hurry, smash a good number of cloves and onions with a hammer and leave them scattered throughout the garden.

All of these plants together will keep raccoons away from your treasured landscape and keep them from invading your home. However, if the problem is entrenched and they continue to come back, it’s better to enlist a professional wildlife removal service to handle the problem of raccoon trapping and raccoon removal.

Give us a call and we’ll come right out for a free consultation on how to eliminate nuisance raccoons!

Squirrels can cause Fires in Attic

Squirrels Going in RoofIf you’ve been hearing scratching and chattering noises in your walls, attic or ceiling, you may be in the company of a family of squirrels. These rodents don’t respect your rights as a homeowner or tenant, and they don’t pay mortgages or rent!

What they do is cause damage to walls, siding, soffits and ceilings, leaving droppings, shells and nests in their wake. Like most rodents, they carry parasites and diseases that are harmful to humans. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to call a professional wildlife removal service that can address the problem safely.

Squirrels are particularly dangerous when they move into attic spaces. They have a real taste for the insulation that covers wiring.

Chewed wiring is bad for the squirrel, but it’s even worse for you. When they bite into wiring, they get a nasty, life-ending shock. They also cause shorts and sparks in the wires. In an environment full of insulation and dust, a deadly fire in the attic can break out in the middle of the day or night. A fire in the attic doesn’t care if you’re asleep at home or if you’re away on vacation.

In this case, we got a call from a management company after tenants called to complain about rodent noises in the house and a squirrel they’d seen coming and going. On inspection, we noticed they were getting in through the chase of the air conditioner. We’ve sent in a proposal for covering the chase and trapping any squirrels left inside. We hope they take us up on it before chewed wiring becomes a problem!

​Pet & Wildlife Safety

​Everything You Need To Know About Keeping Your Pets & Wildlife Safe

In homes where pets are loved, they are treated like family. You should not be shocked to find them sleeping in beds and eating from the same plates that the regular family members use. Additionally, the pets are given the best of care on a regular basis and you will find them being washed and groomed just to make sure they fit into the family. One thing that needs to be taken seriously is the safety of pets and wild animals that may be used as pets.

Keep them clean

Safety does not necessary mean protection from fire and storms but it also brings in the need to keep the pets from getting sick. One of the things that encourage the build up of germs and bacteria is dirt. If dirt is allowed to accumulate in your pet, then the risk of the pet contracting a disease is increased. Thus said, you need to come up with a schedule that helps you maintain a clean pet. The intensity of the wash will depend on how furred the animal is and where you live.

Make use of a leash

Dogs are known to be jumpy and excited especially when you take them out for a walk. The other thing about them is that you may never tell what they will do once they see a cat nearby. To keep them from bolting of across the road and probably getting hit by a car, it is very wise to make use a leash. This will keep the dog within the designated area hence assuring you of its safety.

Make use of name tags

It is not very common to walk a cat as they are left to do this on their own. However, they at times wonder off and forget to trace their way back home and they may get picked by strangers. One of the ways of making sure that your cat will be returned to you is by making use of name tags. The tags have been modified nowadays to contain data such as the owner’s name, their address and contacts and any information pertaining to the pet. With a tag around your pet’s neck, the risk of getting completely lost and mauled by dogs is greatly reduced.

Keep them indoors during winter

Winter is always known to be responsible to pet deaths due to the freezing temperatures. During the worst of winter, it might be wise to keep your pets indoors as this might just be the thing that saves their lives. If this is not possible, you might want to consider keeping them well covered to reduce heat loss while in their pens. Where possible, you can introduce electric heaters and warmers as these go a long way in providing the much needed heat.

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Zara, financial guest blogger. At present she is focusing on ppi claims . catch her @financeport

Orlando Bee Swarm

Orlando Bee Swarm
Orlando Bee Swarm

We get called out for many different types of bee problems in Orlando.  Some of them involve a honeybee swarm like this Orlando bee swarm shown.  Occasionally honeybees will swarm an area, collecting on a tree, wall, or other object.  Most of the time this is due to the natural reproduction cycle of the bees.  The swarm has either already found its permanent nesting site or is in preparation to move to it.

Bees Looking For A New Home

When bees swarm like in the picture it doesn’t always mean they are there to stay.  When a bee colony prepares to leave and find a new nesting area they will gather very close, usually within a dozen feet or so of the original hive.  Scout bees are sent out to find suitable nesting sites.  Once the site is agreed upon the rest of the hive flies to the site and begins building the new hive. It can take a few days for the hive to move from this temporary spot to a new, permanent nesting spot.

A New Buzz To The Family

The bee swarm pictured is more than likely the permanent place the hive had chosen to move to.  An Orlando customer called us out to exterminate the swarm of bees shown in the picture on the back of the house.  They had noticed a handful of bees over the last few days going in and out a small hole under the electrical box.  Then, all of a sudden, a huge swarm of bees, numbering into the thousands, appeared at the same spot.   This is indicative of the honeybee reproduction cycle and suggests this was their new nesting site.


CALL 866-263-WILD (9453) To Stop The Buzz In Your Home

Lakeland Bat Removal

It Looks Like We Found The Bat Cave

Bat maternity season ended August 15th, giving us the opportunity to finally end homeowners’ bat problems.  Between April 15th and August 15th bats cannot legally be removed from their roosting areas.  Preventing them from moving to new areas is all that can be done.  During this window many homeowners come to us to prevent their bat problem from becoming more extensive and to schedule the eventual exclusion of the roosting bats.

Could Bats Be Taking Over YOUR House?

The bat job above was in a Lakeland home we were called out to in early June.  The bats had been there for several months according to the homeowner and had nearly filled up one of the three gable vents on the home.  If we hadn’t sealed the other areas there is a good possibility that the other two vents would have been infested with bats very quickly as space was running out due to the baby bats, or pups, maturing and taking up more space.

An Attic Full Of Bats Was In The Works

Below is video of another bat job in Lakeland we were finally able to get to.  The homeowner had first saw bats entering soffit almost a year ago.  We were called out to the home in May as the bat problem was slowly getting worse.  The homeowner started smelling and hearing them from inside the home as the bats grew in number and moved out of the soffit, into the attic.  We sealed off the other potential problem areas and went back after bat maternity season ended to remove the bats from the home.