ABC Blog

Do Mice Carry Fleas? Control and Prevention Tips

A flea infested mouse running along a stone walkway

Anyone who’s had to deal with a rodent infestation has probably wondered whether or not these creatures can bring fleas or other pests into a home. If you have ever asked yourself the question: Do mice carry fleas?, you should know that the answer is that they can and they often do. That means that if rats or mice have moved into your home, attic or garage, you may have to deal not only with that primary pest issue, but with a secondary one as well—the fleas that these rodents can bring with them.

This is because mice live in the wild. They pick up fleas outdoors from other wild animals, and they bring those fleas, as well as mites and other skin parasites, into any home they might invade. This compounds the pest control problem for the homeowner, making things worse for them and everyone else living in the house, … Read Full Post »

I Have Bats in My Attic: What Should I Do?

A roosting bat in an attic

One night as the sun was setting, you started hearing odd squeaking noises from up above. As it got darker, you saw something fly out of your attic. After the shock of the situation wore off, you started to wonder if you have bats in your attic, and if so, what you should do. And, perhaps most importantly, what can you do to keep them from coming back?

Over 40 types of bats make their home in the United States. Bats can seek shelter in buildings to be protected from predators. These flying mammals can squeeze their way into very small spaces—even as small as a half to a quarter inch—to make their way into chimneys, walls, attics and other structures. Most bats will be on the move from September through April as they seek a place to hibernate. While bats make high-frequency sounds that are inaudible to humans to fly … Read Full Post »

What Attracts Spiders and How to Get Rid of Them

A brown and white striped spider sitting on a web

It started with just one or two spiders that you were able to quickly deal with. Then, you started noticing more and more of these creepy crawlies on your property. At this point, the frequency at which you’re finding spiders in your home and yard is making you uncomfortable. When faced with the reality that your resident spider population exceeds your comfort level, you’re likely wondering what is attracting spiders to your property. And once you get an answer to that question, you’re probably wanting to know what can you do to get rid of them.

Spiders are predators that gravitate towards areas in which they can find food. In other words, if there are bugs in your yard, it’s highly likely that there will be at least some spiders. If you do have some bugs on your property (as most of us do), the spider population can grow, and some … Read Full Post »

What Do Cockroach Droppings Look Like?

Droppings next to cockroach that are similar to coffee grounds in size and appearance

Finding strange, dark brown pellets in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets can be an unsettling experience. You’re pretty confident that what you have found is cockroach droppings, but you’re hoping that your hunch is off. So, what do cockroach droppings look like and, if these are roach droppings, how serious is the problem?

In general, roach droppings look like little black or dark brown pellets, very similar in appearance to coffee grounds or crushed pepper. When fresh, these pellets are usually round or oval and, unlike coffee grounds or pepper, these pellets stick to surfaces and might smear. Older droppings may start to become flattened out as cockroaches continue to move around and walk through their own feces.

The bigger the infestation, the more obvious these droppings will become. Cockroaches don’t care about cleanliness—they are more than willing to excrete where they live and eat, so droppings tend to be more prominent … Read Full Post »

Water Bug Vs. Cockroach: Identification Tips

A cockroach crawling up a wall

When you see a large bug darting across the floor or—far worse—your kitchen counter, your initial response might be simply to shriek, leap around in fright or maybe take a few wild swings at it with a shoe. But later, when you’re able to think more calmly, you might start wondering exactly what kind of bug it was. Was it a cockroach or a water bug, or something else altogether? There’s plenty of confusion in the great water bug vs. cockroach debate, and for good reason: While these two bugs are distinct from one another, it can be hard to tell the difference between them—especially when you’re in the midst of an unwelcome encounter with one of these creatures.

Fortunately, there are several ways to determine whether you have cockroaches or water bugs on your property. Once you know which type of pest has invaded your personal territory, you can figure … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs In My Couch: What Should I Do?

bed bugs in a couch in a brown living room

If you’ve had an experience that led you to suspect the presence of bed bugs in your couch, you might wonder if that’s even possible. The name “bed bugs,” after all, suggests these pests are found in people’s sleeping areas, not their living room furniture. But anyone who’s ever dozed off on the couch while watching their favorite TV show and then later found lines of itchy red bumps on their skin knows that isn’t true.

Bed bugs definitely don’t restrict themselves to beds, although they are most often found in places where people sleep. That’s because they are safest when they feed on the blood of their victims while they are still, often when a person is fast asleep. Bed bugs have been known to infest many types of furniture and spaces where people spend lots of time, including couches, sectionals and easy chairs. So, if you suspect there are … Read Full Post »

What Eats Termites? Controlling An Infestation

Subterranean termites burrowing in dirt

Many homeowners, especially those who spot signs of termite activity in their homes or elsewhere around their property, may wonder if there are any animals that eat termites. Do these pests have natural predators that can help keep termite populations low and protect homes from damage? Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to American homes and other structures each and every year, and once they have infested a home, they are notoriously difficult to get rid of.

Worse, termite colonies are typically hidden to the untrained eye, which means these insects can go about their destructive business for quite a long time before they’re detected. The varieties responsible for the vast majority of serious damage to our homes, subterranean termites, largely live out their lives in the dark, and their queens can lay many eggs in a single day. This means that termites’ natural reproductive and feeding habits can … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid Of A Roach Infestation

A dead cockroach

You turn on the bathroom light in the middle of the night and spot it—a cockroach. The next morning as you go into the kitchen, you spot another one, scuttling away. After a few of these unwelcome encounters, you’ve come to the conclusion that you have cockroaches in your home. Most importantly, you want that to change. When it comes to getting rid of roaches, often the best route is to contact a pest control specialist who can apply effective treatments to roach nesting and breeding grounds. However, there are some things you can do to help limit your roach population and make your home less attractive to these common pests.

The first step to eliminating a roach infestation is pinpointing where these creatures are nesting. Common areas around a home include:

  • Around sinks in the bathroom and kitchen
  • Behind the refrigerator
  • In closets and cabinets
  • Under beds or couches
  • Around doors or windows

When you’ve discovered … Read Full Post »

Florida Carpenter Ants: Controlling An Infestation

Florida carpenter ant on damaged wood

You’ve found what looks like tiny sawdust piles along your baseboards or in your attic crawl space. Then, you spot an ant. After hearing horror stories about the damage these ants can do, you begin to worry that you may have a carpenter ant problem. First, you’ll need to confirm that what you have is actually a Florida carpenter ant and not something else.

Florida carpenter ants have a brown to rusty orange-colored head and thorax with the bottom half of their bodies being black. This ant grows a circular ring of golden hairs around its abdomen. Antennae are bullet-shaped and segmented into 12 parts. Workers measure in at about a quarter of an inch to a half of an inch in length, while winged swarmers and the queen can reach up to three-quarters of an inch long.

If the ants you have seen on your property fit this description, you’ll need … Read Full Post »

Are Termites Harmful To Humans? Your Questions Answered

Are termites harmful to humans

Yes, termites are harmful to humans, but perhaps not in the way you might immediately think. These creatures aren’t often responsible for serious physical harm, as they do not pose the same health risks as many other insect and animal pests that can bite or sting you or transmit disease. However, the destructive impact of termites on the structure of a home makes these pests extremely dangerous.

Only in rare cases have soldier termites bitten people while defending their colonies. While in the most severe infestation scenarios, occupants can experience contact dermatitis, asthma attacks and lung irritation, these instances of direct ill effects are relatively rare. However, left untreated, this insect can completely break down all the wooden structures in a wood-built house (including the furniture) within three years. Within five years, termites can render a home unfit for human habitation and cause it to be condemned. In short, termites are … Read Full Post »