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The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Pest Control

The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Pest Control

Taking care of the environment is a group effort. When everyone does his or her part, small acts combine to make a big change. One way everyone can take part in helping to keep the environment clean and free from toxins is to use eco-friendly pest control methods when you need to get rid of insects, rodents and other household pests. Here are some great benefits you will get when choosing eco-friendly pest control.

The Benefits of Eco-Friendly Pest Control

Better Results

Eco-friendly pest control methods are normally more effective than using chemicals or other toxins. Further, the results last much longer, as well. Over time, insects can build up a resistance to chemical-based methods of extermination, and the resistance can be passed down to offspring However, when eco-friendly methods are used, insects do not build up the same resistance, so the results last over long periods of time.

It is Better for Your Landscaping

Landscaping is not inexpensive so it is in your best financial interest to avoid using anything that can damage it. That includes chemical-based pesticides. Traditional pest control methods require reapplication frequently. Over time, the repeated exposure to chemicals can take a toll on your landscaping and make your yard look terrible. By their nature, eco-friendly pest control methods are designed to be gentle on your landscaping. You can often use as much eco-friendly methods as much or often as you need to without having to worry about damage to your yard and landscaping elements.

No Unpleasant Odor

One of the worst aspects of traditional pest control methods is the foul smell that comes along with them. When you use eco-friendly methods, that issue is completely eliminated. Since there are no chemicals used in eco-friendly pest elimination methods, you won’t have to worry about the noxious odors that linger long after an application.

Safe for Kids

If you have kids at home, then you really need to consider using eco-friendly pest control methods. Traditional methods that are chemical-based can be harmful to children if they are exposed to them. Children love to play outside and explore the environment around them. If you have recently sprayed for pests with a traditional pest removal method, there is a good chance your kids can breathe in the chemicals or touch a surface that has been sprayed and then put their fingers in their mouths. Using an eco-friendly method to get rid of your pests eliminates the need for you to worry about exposing your kids to harmful toxins.

It is possible to use eco-friendly pest control methods yourself or to find professional exterminators who use them.

 

What is The Difference Between Roof Rats and Norway Rats

What is The Difference Between Roof Rats and Norway Rats

If you have a rat problem, you don’t want to waste time on pest control tactics that don’t work. It is important to know what type of rat has infested your home so you can have it properly treated. Keep reading for the key differences between roof rats and Norway rats.

What is The Difference Between Roof Rats and Norway Rats

Both roof and Norway rats are not native to North America. They were stowaways on European ships in the 1700s and were brought here unintentionally. Both species can cause a real headache for home and business owners by chewing, creating nests, and eating food.

Habitat

Roof rats, as their name suggests, prefer high places. They will often be found scurrying across rafters or in attics. They also choose to live in trees or atop vine covered fences. Norway rats live on the lower level of buildings, in basements and in sewers. But don’t decide solely on this factor alone, because roof rats can venture into the lower levels as well, usually after they’ve already taken a firm hold in the higher places of the building.

Appearance

There are three common species of roof rats: the black rat (black with a gray belly), the Alexandrine rat (brown with gray streaks and a gray belly) and the fruit rat (brown with gray streaks and a white belly). Norway rats are usually brown or reddish-gray with light colored bellies.

Roof rats are more slender and graceful-looking compared to Norway rats. Their tails are equal length of the rest of their body, and their pointed muzzles and large ears easily set them apart from Norway rats. They range from 13.75 inches to 17.75 inches, and weigh between 8 and 12 ounces.

In contrast to roof rats, Norway rats have thicker bodies with short muzzles and small ears. Their tails are much shorter than the rest of their body. They are generally the same length as roof rats, ranging from 12.75 inches to 18 inches. Though they are a bit heavier, weighing anywhere between 10 and 17 ounces. Please don’t pick one up to guess its weight.

Behavior

Roof rats love to climb and often get into buildings via trees or utility lines. They are fast and agile and use their tails for balance when walking across electrical wires. Norway rats are natural swimmers who can easily get through water seals in toilets and show up in toilet bowls. They prefer flat surfaces to climbing and get into buildings at or below the ground level.

After ridding yourself of a rat infestation of either type, you can call on RCS to cleanup the area and conduct structural repairs. An electrician may be needed as well.

Roof Rats Found In More Places Than Just Attics

Roof Rats Found In More Places Than Just Attics

Roof rats—despite their name, they don’t just live in your roof or in your attic. Roof rats generally start out in your roof or attic, usually getting there by using their superb climbing skills to walk across a tree limb that is hanging over your roof. Once they’ve settled in, though, they usually seek out spaces in your walls and even under your home. So don’t rule out a roof rat just because you found it somewhere else, and don’t assume your infestation is limited to that one location.

Roof Rat Threats to Your Home and Health

Once they’re in your walls, they can be a real problem. They love to make nests in insulation. Since they’re nocturnal animals, they’re active at night, which can be a real nuisance. When unsanitary roof rats live in houses, the odors from their urine and fecal droppings can be overwhelming, not to mention the diseases they carry. These rats can also create a fire hazard in your home by gnawing through electrical wires.

What Does A Roof Rat Look Like?

Roof rats are brown or black, and smaller than the more common house pest known as the Norway rat, which make their nests underground as a burrower. Roof rats usually make their nests in higher places located off the ground, but they can adapt to almost any environment, which makes them harder to get rid of if you have an infestation.

Roof Rat Farm in Your Home

They breed like, well rats! Males become mature at five months of age and roof rats can produce four to six litters per year. With each litter having up to eight mice, one female can give birth to 40 new mice in a year’s time.

What Can You Do?

Prevent roof rats from taking up residence by:

  • Sealing up cracks and openings that may provide easy access into your home.
  • Trimming back trees and tall shrubs to keep them from touching your roof.
  • Refraining from keeping food stores or seeds in your attic.
  • Eliminating food and water sources from your yard such as fruit on the ground, unsecured trash cans, and open water.

If you already have a roof rat population in your home, call a pest control service. They will come out and do a full assessment to look for nests—indoor and outdoor—and get rid of your pest problem once and for all. Then you can call restoration specialist to clean up after them and repair any structural damage they’ve done. An electrician may also be needed.

Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home, What You Need to Know

Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home, What You Need to Know

If you see wood damage around your home, you will probably assume you have termites, but it might be a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants also lead to structural damage because they build nests in the wood of your home.

Carpenter Ants Damage Your Home, What You Need to Know

How Serious Is Carpenter Ant Damage?

Carpenter ant damage is not as severe as termite damage, but the ants can cause extensive damage over a period of several years. The colony may go undetected, and as it grows over time, the ants expand through your wood, leading to a potentially dangerous and costly situation.

Where You Can Find Carpenter Ants

The ants damage any wood in which they nest, but usually they nest in wet wood. Look for nests around windows, sinks and bath traps. The ants always have a point of entry into your home—through the foundation or a crack in the home. They can enter along electrical wires, telephone lines and water pipes. To find them, try to follow their trail into your home.

Once inside your home, they prefer to build nests in structural lumber areas like hollow walls or doors and around windows. If you see piles of wood shavings around your home, you very likely have an infestation. The ants create the shavings as they burrow into the wood to make nests. The shavings actually look like pencil shavings you’d see after sharpening a pencil. You also might hear them at work—a faint rustling sound inside the walls. Finally, if you see large ants with wings coming out of ceilings, walls or crevices, your home is almost certainly infested.

Carpenter ants can also build their nests outdoors in trees that have moist or rotting wood. If you see them outside, be particularly proactive about checking for carpenter ants inside.

Carpenter Ants Versus Termites

Many people mistake carpenter ants for a termite infestation. Carpenter ants have winged ants called swarmers that reproduce in warmer months, usually March to June. While termites actually eat the wood, the ants do not. Instead, they just damage the wood as they make their nests. The U.S. has 24 species of carpenter ant, and because the ants have wings, they are often mistaken for termites.

Carpenter ant nests are very difficult to find. They can go undetected in your home for years. A large colony can grow to 2,000 worker ants in a few years time. If you suspect an infestation, call a professional pest control company. When they’re done, call us to repair carpenter ants damage.

Maintaining a Crawl Space: Unseen but Important

Maintaining a Crawl Space: Unseen but Important

When is the last time you looked around in the crawlspace under your house? Crawl spaces are notoriously damp, uncomfortable places so most homeowners tend to avoid them. The main people that venture into crawl spaces are home service specialists like HVAC technicians, plumbers and electricians who may or may not tell the homeowner about any issues they see under there. Unfortunately, there are actually a lot of home issues that can be prevented by properly maintaining your crawlspace. At Restoration Certification Services, we want to help you prevent the damage to your home and your family’s health that can come from a poorly maintained crawl space.

Maintaining a Crawl Space: Unseen but Important

Here are the problems you face if your home has a crawlspace:

Moisture In Your Crawl Space

Moisture is the most common issue in crawl spaces and leads to mold and wood rot. If you haven’t made any improvements to address moisture (like a moisture barrier, dehumidifier or sump pump), then you are probably going to have a moisture issue. The nature of a crawlspace being dark with little ventilation almost guarantees that you will have to do something to combat moisture. If left unchecked, moisture will rot your floor joists and supports and eventually your floor will have to be replaced. Moisture and mold can also rise up through your floor and into your living areas triggering allergies and breathing problems.

Pests in Your Crawl Space

Rats, insects and larger animals can get into your crawl space and leave droppings and/or damage duct work. It is really important to thoroughly check all possible entrance points to keep pests out of your crawlspace. As mentioned before, since most homeowners don’t go in their crawlspace often, it is possible for pests to do a lot of damage before they are noticed.

Your Crawl Space’s Insulation

Poor or no insulation in your crawl space means that you will spend more money on heating and cooling your home. It also means that mold can easily travel through the floor and into your living space. Getting your crawl space insulated will lower your power bills and extend the life of your floors.

You need to get your crawl space checked out. Our team at Restoration Certified Specialists is experienced, and we are dedicated to both making your home safe and saving you money. We offer full crawl space services from cleaning to installing protective measures. Contact us for more information.

How To Protect Your Documents In Case of Emergencies

How To Protect Your Documents In Case of Emergencies

Most of us have family photos and one-of-a-kind paper and digital documents that we’d be lost without. It is wise to be aware of what natural disasters and other emergencies damage your irreplaceable documents and how you can protect your documents from emergencies. Keep reading and find out.

How To Protect Your Documents In Case of Emergencies

Natural Disasters Can Damage Your Documents

What natural disasters and emergency situations can damage your priceless documents? Here’s just a few unforeseen circumstances you could find yourself up again:

  • Fire (from nature or from an electrical failure in your home)
  • Flooding
  • Severe Weather (thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.)
  • Mold Damage
  • Termites (they like to eat paper as much as they do wood)
  • Theft

So, what can you do to make sure you don’t lose all your documents during an emergency?

Protecting Your Documents During Emergencies

Don’t get caught off-guard. Follow these emergency document protection tips:

  • Have an emergency plan. Being unprepared will cost you. Consider having a “go-bag” with photo copies of your important documents, cash, clothes and other necessities. Know what documents you need to protect (birth certificate, marriage license, etc) and have them in multiple safe places.
  • Keep multiple backups. Always backup your digital and print files. Have photocopies of important documents stored in more than one location – like one at your home, one at your work and another at your parent’s house. Back up digital documents on an external hard drive and to the cloud.
  • Store priceless documents in a fireproof, flood-proof safe. This is a great safeguard for your home and office. Be sure your safe is installed in the wall or bolted to the floor, so it can’t be easily stolen.
  • Keep files in elevated places. Never store paper files or photos on the floor – this is inviting water damage. Place your documents in waterproof containers and at the top of shelves or in your attic.
  • Get mold, crawlspace and critter inspections. Problems sneak up on you when you’re not actively looking out for them. Regularly look for mold in potential trouble areas. Have your crawlspace checked for critters, termites and mold. Wherever you store your documents, keep the area clean, so you don’t invite any unsavory conditions.