Beware of Flying Squirrels in NY and NJ

Most people in New York and New Jersey are familiar with the gray squirrels that leap through the trees in backyards and scamper after peanuts in park. Whether you disparage them as annoying, mischief-making “tree rats” or delight in their amazing aerial acrobatics, the bushy-tailed Eastern Gray Squirrel is well known to everyone who lives in New York City or northern New Jersey. But most people don’t realize that the gray squirrels they see during the daytime have a nighttime counterpart, the Southern Flying Squirrel.

Smaller than the 6- to 8-inch long gray squirrel, the Southern Flying Squirrel is tailless and has a furry, kite-like membrane that stretches along each side of its body from wrist to ankle. With no true wings, flying squirrels don’t actually fly like birds or bats; they glide between trees, shifting the position of their bodies to change direction. While most flights are considerably shorter, flying squirrels are capable of flights of up to nearly 300 feet, or about the length of a football field.

Because these animals are nocturnal, you may never see a flying squirrel; but they still pose a potential pest problem to NYC and NJ home and business owners if they decide to nest in your attic. Stern offers 24-hour emergency squirrel removal and squirrel control services for both flying squirrels and ground squirrels. This is squirrel nesting season; keep us on speed dial!

Innovative Mouse Control System Outsmarts Mice

If you find a mouse in your NYC or NJ building, you can be certain that he’s not alone. As they scamper through your building or warehouse, mice lay down pheromone trails in their urine for their buddies to follow. When mice invade, it takes more than setting out a few traps to get rid of them.

Mice are able to slip through tiny cracks no bigger than a dime. They can follow wires and pipes, travel through sewers and scurry through air vents to gain access to your commercial building. To permanently rid your building of mice, you must first figure out how they are getting into the building and block that access or be prepared to endure a steady stream of these disease-spreading rodents.

An innovative new product called Track & Trap mouse control system outsmarts mice by using their own behavior to reveal rodent entry points and travel pathways. The system uses special bait stations laced with a fluorescent powder that sticks to the rodents’ feet and bodies. When mice leave the bait stations to return to their nests, they leave glowing footprints that are visible with a special UV light. Following these trails, mouse control experts are able to find and remove nests and permanently block mouse access to your building.

Don’t put up with invading mice. Schedule rodent control review today.

Climate Change Could Bring New Pests to New Jersey

A recently published Dartmouth-led study on climate change offers new hope for New Jersey forests devastated by the southern pine beetle, but NJ pest control experts warn that it could also presage the arrival of nasty new pests in the Garden State.

Participating in the government’s National Climate Assessment, Dartmouth and University of Idaho researchers reviewing the impact climate change has on forests noticed a strong connection between rising temperatures and the make up of local insect populations. Warmer winter temperatures prevented normal insect die-off, allowing substantial growth in native insect populations. But warmer winter temperatures also allowed insects common in warmer southern states to advance northward more rapidly.

One particularly interesting discovery was that many insect populations seem to thrive only within a relatively narrowly defined temperature range. For example, warming temperatures have allowed the southern pine beetle to gain a foothold and spread rapidly through New Jersey forests. However, pine beetle damage in Louisiana is actually decreasing as temperatures rise. Study researchers hypothesize that the Deep South is becoming too hot for the pine beetle, causing it to die out in southern states and migrate northward to cooler states where conditions are more conducive to its survival and reproduction.

NJ Pest control experts have been watching fire ants, Africanized bees and Formosa termites creeping closer over the decades. Climate change could accelerate the northern expansion of insect populations.

When Mice Invaded the White House

President Obama recently had a problem with cockroaches in the White House, but he’s not the first resident of the 213-year-old building to have a pest problem. It’s worth chuckle today, but back in 1977 when mice invaded the White House, President Jimmy Carter wasn’t laughing.

According to a humorous National Journal account, the White House rodent battle is legendary. In a typical governmental snafu, a turf war between two federal agencies turned a small problem into a huge headache.

Responsible for maintaining the interior of the White House, the General Services Administration told the President it had eliminated all inside mice and insisted that new mice had come from outside the building, making them the responsibility of the Interior Department which manages the building’s exterior maintenance. Interior said its hands were tied because the mice were now inside the building and out of its jurisdiction.

The pest control problem came to a head when mice started running across the President’s desk and the smell of dead mouse cast a pall over the Oval Office. An irritated President told agency heads to solve the problem or risk being fired. An epic two-month battle ensued and 61 mice were caught before peace again reigned in the White House.

The moral of the story? When mice invade, call Stern for expert commercial mouse and rat extermination.

Bed Bugs Found in Princeton University Dorms

The discovery of bed bugs at Princeton University gives credence to bed bugs’ reputation as equal opportunity pests. These small blood-sucking pests cross social, economic and cultural barriers. They are as likely to be found in tony Princeton dorm rooms as homeless shelters. The discovery of bed bug infestations in two Princeton University dorm rooms reported by earlier this month merely proves the point.

Unlike many other insects, bed bugs are not attracted by filth or food scraps. When bed bugs are found, the common denominator is human blood. Bed bugs feed on human blood, typically at night when their meal ticket (you!) is fast asleep. When bed bugs latch on, they may feed for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Like ticks, bed bugs grow in size as they feed; their color becoming redder and darker as blood fills their bodies.

Most people don’t wake up when bitten by a bed bug because these insects inject a numbing agent as they insert their proboscis. The intense itching associated with their mosquito-like bites doesn’t usually start until the victim wakes up in the morning. However, because only 50% of victims react to bed bug bites, you could be on the menu and never know it!

Getting rid of bed bugs is a job for licensed pest control professionals that have significant experience in bed bug extermination.