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Mice are one of the common pests homeowners and even businesses face.  They are known for the diseases they can spread, food they contaminate, and destruction they can cause to structures.  Mice are relatively small rodents that are very good when it comes to staying out of sight.  Most are nocturnal in the hopes of using the cover of darkness to evade predators but when they are living inside your home or business, they will forage for food during the day if the need arises, using wall cavities and other hiding places to stay from view.  On occasion, you may see a darting movement, arousing suspicion of their existence, but more often than not, the trail of droppings, the nibbled packaging, and other such indications, confirms thier presence.  In Virginia, there are two mice species more commonly found in the area that are likely to be invading your home or business.  These mice are the common House Mouse, or the White- Footed mouse and we at Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to take the opportunity to discuss these types of mice.

Common House Mouse

house mouse on food wikiThe most common domestic rodent found in and around Virginia homes and businesses is the house mouse. These mice can easily adapt well in most environments in order to survive.  When they are living in the outdoors, they typically keep to themselves and cause only minor damage from their nesting and eating habits.   Typically, when they invade buildings, it’s to escape extreme weather conditions or when their food supply is scarce.   These mice can slip inside with a crack or hole ¼” wide or about the size of a dime.   Without predators or the harsh elements, these mice will rapidly reproduce and become quite the infestation because only one house mouse female might produce from 30-50 or more mice in her lifetime and they have the ability to breed throughout the whole year when living indoors, whereas outside they generally only breed in the spring and fall.

White Footed Mouse

More often than not this mouse is found in the rural and rural-suburban portions of the State.  Typically, their presence in cities and urban areas is limited, preferring to remain out in the wild and keep their distance from people.  One of the animal reservoirs of Lyme disease is the white footed mouse, a very important consideration in Virginia.  This rodent is particularly relevant because of the association between these mice and ticks that feed upon them and other hosts.   In 2015 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Virginia was the ninth most prevalent state in our country for confirmed cases of Lyme disease.  The white footed mouse’s preferred habitat is brush lands, forests, and especially the forests edge where vegetation is low and scrubby.  Their diet mostly consists of insects, nuts, seeds, and berries. Most likely to support white footed mice in suburban areas are the forested areas located next to an area of grass, weeds, or other low growing vegetation.  On the chance they slip into buildings, they are often found constructing their nests in the walls at ground level of buildings.

Mice Rodent Control & Removal

If you discover either of these mice in your Virginia home or business, be sure to call in the experts of Exterminating Unlimited, Inc to get them removed before they spread disease and ailments as well as destroy the integrity of the structure, electrical wiring, or other personal property. Contact us today.

Do you have a four legged bandit of the night? Raccoons often invade homes and yards, looking for shelter and food. Unfortunately, raccoons are very difficult to control. They can feed on almost anything they can find food in garbage cans and around the home. Additionally, raccoons will climb into attics and basements to find shelter. When it comes to controlling raccoons, Exterminating Unlimited, Inc will share what can be done and what homeowners should try to avoid when dealing with raccoons.


How to Keep Raccoons Away from Your House & Garden

raccoon houstonWhen it comes to protecting your home and yard, there are sound and beneficial methods that should be applied. Electric fencing or wiring will give a raccoon enough zap to be discouraged from entering your yard. It is also important that you don’t leave trash cans where raccoons can easily access them. Water from a pond or any other water feature will not only attract raccoons, but will attract other pests as well. For those who want to have these kinds of water features, just be aware your yard is at risk from raccoon activity. Removing all available water will help reduce raccoon activity. We also encourage you not to leave pet food or water bowls out. Again you are feeding an ever growing raccoon population by doing that. You will also want to prevent raccoons from climbing into your attic or basements. You can do this by using a heavy metal mesh wiring to cover vents, chimneys, basement windows or any other space that a raccoon can fit through.


Raccoon VS Dog; Who Wins?

Now there is something else many homeowners believe is good for raccoon control, but in reality actually causes more problems. Many homeowners will get a dog in the belief that they can either scare raccoons away or even attack, kill or hurt a raccoon. Well this is a misconception. A raccoon can take on another animal three times its own weight and win. Most canines will lose in a match against a raccoon. Now there are some breeds of dog that were bred to hunt and kill raccoons, but only a very few are successful. One breed of dog that can actually defend a yard from a raccoon is the black, tan or blue coonhound. However most other breeds just don’t match up against raccoons. Don’t put your pet at risk by using a dog as raccoon control.


Raccoon Control

It should be noted that it is illegal to use poison to kill raccoons or any other wildlife. In most cases they don’t work anyhow. In most states it is also illegal to kill raccoons within city limits without a license. That is why if you’re having problems with raccoons invading your home or making a mess in your yard, you should contact a pest control company that handles wildlife. We can place traps to capture the raccoons. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc can help you with wildlife control, and yes even with those little bandits. Raccoons aren't just a nuisance that cause property damage; they can transmit dangerous bacteria, viruses and parasites as well. If your home has become the prime hangout for raccoons or other pests, contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc today.

Fire ants are not native to the United States but have become quite a nuisance here. They were accidentally brought into the country in the 1930s via a shipment of cargo, first in Alabama and then spreading to other states. Fire ants can commonly be found throughout the southern part of the United States, from Maryland to Texas, California and New Mexico. In our state of Virginia, fire ants can be found in urban areas. They are very resilient and aggressive, inflicting painful bites and stings without provocation.


Identification; What Does a Fire Ant Look & Act Like?

Fire ants wikiFire ants have copper brown heads and bodies with darker abdomens. They are 1/8 to 3/8 inches in size. The worker ants will be blackish to reddish in color and smaller. You will see large mound nests that are flattened, irregular in shape and can be anywhere from two to four square feet large. These mounds can get as high as 16 inches and can be found in open areas. Fire ants will feed mainly on young plants and seeds but they aren’t picky. They will also feed on animal or vegetable sources of food. Fire ants do not hibernate and can survive extreme conditions.  In a well-established colony, you will see ants of three different sizes at the same time and can have 100,000 to 5,000,000 ants. Fire ants can kill a small animal during an attack.


Fire Ant Bites & Stings

Many ants bite and then spray acid on the wound but fire ants will bite to get a grip and then sting from the abdomen and inject a toxin. If a fire ant nest is disturbed, they will sting and these stings are painful. The result can be raised welts that will turn into white pustules. The pustules can get infected if they are scratched but will disappear within a few days if left alone. To avoid any scarring try and leave them alone. External treatments like hydrocortisone creams and oral medications are the best way to treat fire ant stings. There will be multiple stings and if a person is allergic to the stings there will have more severe reactions. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling and slurred speech. These symptoms can be fatal if ignored so get medical help right away.


Preventing Fire Ants

Fire ants will come into a new area through plotted plants, shrubs and trees. They will build nests around structural foundations or in landscaping and while they prefer to be outside they can get into our homes through HVAC systems and AC units. These ants will bring soil with them into the house and into the walls or under first floor bathrooms to start building a nest. Seal all cracks and cervices that these ants can use to get into your home.


Indoor & Outdoor Ant Control

Many homeowners find that DIY baits are ineffective as fire ants are very good at reinvading so it’s best to get in touch with professional pest control if you notice fire ant activity. We can conduct a thorough inspection and present a custom plan as to how best take care of your fire ant problem and make sure fire ants can’t get into your home. Fall is the ideal time to treat for fire ants to reduce populations over the winter. Contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. to treat your ant or other pest infestation.

bed bug featured imageBed bugs become an exceptional problem during the summer months. With college kids coming home for the summer, vacations, and frequent visitors to your home; it is the perfect recipe for a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are hitchhikers that grip or climb into or on backpacks, purses and even clothing. It is not surprising that summer is one of the busiest times of the year for pest control companies that do bed bug removal and control. Exterminating Unlimited, Inc will share more about the bed bug and how they are removed and can be prevented.


Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are tiny insects that typically get from place to place by hitchhiking as stated. They feed on warm blooded mammals, most especially humans over cats and dogs since we don’t have thick fur covering our body and bed bugs can easily navigate round our skin. Bed bugs are about the same size of an apple seed and are brown in color. The nymphs are cream in color and slowly darken as they mature. They are nocturnal creatures, coming out at night to feed on a sleeping host. Bed bugs retreat into dark places during the day. Some sure signs that you have bed bugs are: bug bites, small brown or reddish spots that stain your sheets, shed exoskeletans, a pungent odor and of course, visual evidence of their presence.


Where Do Bed Bugs Live & Hide?

Bed bugs are known to hide in the cracks, underneath box springs, mattresses, and bedding, along with couches, clothes and wooden furniture. They hide in the cracks of carpet, baseboards, and in curtains. Bed bugs can’t climb on smooth surfaces and they shy away from cold surfaces, which is why you typically don’t find them in bathrooms or kitchen or other similar areas. Bed bugs can be difficult to locate and often it take an experienced bed bug inspector to locate where the bed bugs are hiding.


Bed Bug Treatment

After your home is inspected, and bed bugs are located, the pest control company will begin treatment. Most treatments involve heating up the interior of the home or building. Bed bugs are sensitive to heat over 114 degrees. Heaters are placed throughout the home. The high temperatures kill bed bugs and their eggs. However, there are times that multiple treatments are needed.


Bed Bug Prevention

After your home is treated for bed bugs, it is up to the homeowner to prevent future invasions. This is done by being aware of bed bugs and how they can get into your home. Additionally, it helps to reduce a bed bug invasion by regularly cleaning the home and by washing bedding with hot water and then drying them with high heat. Wash curtains and vacuum carpets, rugs and even furniture and mattresses often. Be aware when you travel and use temporary lodging. In these places, you run the risk of inviting extra passengers home with you. Make sure to check your lodgings for bed bug before bringing your luggage into the room. When you return home, wash all linens immediately and vacuum out bags and luggage in the event you have an unknown passenger.


Bed Bug Inspections & Removal

If you found bed bugs in your home, or believe your home has been invaded by bed bugs, contact Exterminating Unlimited Inc. Our experienced bed bug inspectors and treatment specialists can help rid your home of these blood sucking pests. Contact Exterminating Unlimited, Inc to schedule your bed bug inspection and treatments today!

Pestering man with their blood pilfering crimes and leaving behind itchy reminders, mosquitoes have been roaming the planet for millions of years.   Mosquitoes in Virginia are no exception to their annoying presence.  Exterminating Unlimited, Inc would like to take the opportunity to expound on the mosquitoes that are in your own backyard.


Yellow Fever & Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

During mosquito season in Virginia, the risk of a local mosquito transmitting a disease is very possible.  Throughout Virginia, mosquitoes are found that are infected with various diseases that can be detrimental. Mosquitoes are only too eager to bite and though they can potentially spread multiple diseases, the Zika virus is what has the natives mostly concerned about.  The yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito are the two species primarily transmitting the Zika virus.  Virginia has both of these mosquitoes are here and the Asian tiger mosquito is by far the most commonly seen in the area. Mosquito season is here, which also means the potential for our local yellow fever mosquitoes and Asian tiger mosquitoes to obtain the Zika virus by biting infected persons who have returned from areas of Zika activity and to spread it to their current hosts.  These two mosquito species are different from most other mosquito species in Virginia because they fly and bite during daylight hours and will enter homes through any opening they can find especially an open door or window and bite indoors. Another difference of these two mosquito species is that they lay their eggs only in containers of water as opposed to laying their eggs in bodies of water such as puddles, flooded ditches, ponds or streams the average mosquito does.


Mosquito Prevention

bigstock Mosquito 70726885Mosquito prevention requires strategic tactics that branch off from other mosquitoes as the Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquito are also different in reproduction and daily habits.  Simply locating and removing potential containers where the bodies of water might collect can remove breeding grounds. Such areas may include; metal, concrete, plastic, glass, ceramic, wood, or stone is where the eggs are laid. If removed, these mosquitoes will not have a favorable place to lay them and look elsewhere.  In depth inspections of the yard for all potential mosquito nurseries is one of the first steps in preventative maintenance.  Directed at the hedges, ivy, shrubs, and other vegetation as well as structures where a mosquito may perch is where the mosquito fog sprays should be strategically placed and targeted.  Especially prudent in homes and businesses where the doors and windows frequently opened; homes and businesses should be equipped with screens in prime condition on the windows and doors.


Effective Mosquito Control Methods

More common in Virginia, these mosquitoes are threatening the locals with more than the Zika virus, but other less common mosquito-borne ailments as well as other less populated mosquitoes in the area also pose a risk.  West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and La Crosse encephalitis are a few examples of the other potential diseases. Additionally, diseases also get imported into Virginia and mosquitoes could also be important vectors of tropical diseases like dengue and chikungunia. When it comes to the safety of your home and loved ones, ensuring the mosquitoes are nowhere in sight is ideal.  Call Exterminating Unlimited, Inc for effective mosquito control to avoid annoying itchy bites and serious ailments.