Protect Your Home from Squirrel Invaders

Squirrels may seem cute as they chase each other through the trees, and their acrobatics as they try to snitch seeds from your birdfeeder can be entertaining; but when squirrels move into your attic for the winter their charm quickly dissipates. In the fall, squirrels start looking for toasty places to build their winter nests. If they gain access to the attic of your home or commercial building, they can ruin insulation, damage stored items and even start fires if they chew through electrical wires.

Squirrel-caused fires are more common than you might think. Like other rodents, squirrels’ teeth grow constantly which means they must gnaw constantly to keep their teeth worn down and sharp. A determined squirrel can chew through roofing shingles and underlayment to gain entrance to eaves or attics; although these pesky animals are more likely to enlarge small holes or take advantage of rotted fascia boards to chew an entrance into your home or building.

Once squirrels establish a nest, they will return year after year to the same location, complicating efforts to get rid of these determined critters. Not only can squirrels carry rabies, but they can bring fleas, mites, ticks and parasites into your home or commercial building. Their droppings and food stores can also attract secondary pest infestations.

For safe, effective squirrel removal, call the squirrel removal experts at Stern Environmental.

Don’t Let Vermin Run Your Customers Away

While a few customers may shrug at the sight of cockroaches, mice, or other vermin and decide that having pests around is typical for establishments that serve food, you had better believe that a number of customers won’t be pleased at all. And they will tell their family and friends. Not only will they tell people in person, they may also get online and visit a ratings site to let even more people know there. And while camera phone technology is great when customers upload photos of a great meal, it will seem less so should they photograph vermin and indicate that the picture was taken in your establishment.  The boom in social media means that everyone is, in a way, a reporter.

In our area, customers have a lot of options and are not bound to stick with any one establishment. They have so many options, in fact, that the smallest bit of unpleasantness (like a cockroach, for instance) can discourage repeat business and encourage customers to warn others.

You can guard your reputation and the future of your business by turning to a NJ pest control firm like Stern Environmental Group to help you get rid of all types of vermin. Visit our website to see all of the pest control services we offer and do not hesitate to contact us.

FDA Shuts Down Food Firms; Rodents, Roaches Found

The FDA recently shut down a Waynesboro, Virginia food preparation and storage facility after inspectors discovered active rodent and insect infestations at the site. U.S. Marshals seized contaminated food products from the two food firms that share the facility: Gourmet Provisions, LLC and Royal Cup, Inc. The companies were cited for numerous health and safety violations including presence of widespread rodent and insect infestations, unclean equipment and structural defects.

The FDA report notes that effective pest control measures had not been taken to exclude rodents and insects from the premises, protect food products from pest contamination or keep food contact surfaces free of contamination.

“These companies have a responsibility for the safety and quality of their products,” FDA associate commission Melinda Plaisier said in a news release. “When firms do not uphold this responsibility, the FDA will take actions that demonstrate its commitment to assuring consumers that foods they buy are prepared, packaged and held under sanitary conditions.”

While no illnesses related to the ice cream and coffee products prepared and stored at the Virginia facility had yet been reported, the FDA noted that consumers may not immediately associate any symptoms of illness with consumption of these contaminated food items.

Don’t take a chance on an FDA shutdown or consumer lawsuits, contact Stern Environmental today about our comprehensive commercial pest control services.

What to Do When Bed Bugs Come Home from School

The start of every school year brings a rash of reports that bed bugs have been found crawling on students’ backpacks or across classroom floors. Teachers trained to be on the lookout for these blood-sucking insects and fast action by school districts when bed bugs are discovered often prevents full-blown infestations at school. But it’s a different story when children inadvertently bring bed bugs home in their backpacks.

Bed bugs are rampant in the New York City and northern New Jersey area. Should bed bugs ride home with their child’s homework, parents can minimize the risk of home infestation by following these tips:

  • Educate yourself about bed bugs and their behavior. Know what to look for. You’ll find helpful information and photos of bed bugs and their bites on the Stern Environmental website.
  • Inspect your child’s backpack, lunch box and coat when he gets home.
  • Do not let your children take items that travel back and forth to school to their bedrooms.
  • Purchase a large plastic tub with a tight-fitting lid for each child and keep it near the door for storing book bags, coats and other school items.
  • Keep an eye out for bed bug signs.
  • If you suspect bed bugs, call Stern Environmental immediately for professional bed bug extermination.

Have a college student? Read our bed bug tips for college students.


Are Bed Bugs Coming Home with Your Child’s Homework?

Teachers are excited to welcome children back to school in the fall, but the pests that sometimes hitch a ride to school on students or their backpacks have cast an unpleasant pall on the start of the school year. Teachers and students have gotten used to the weekly head lice checks and lectures about hat sharing. But the resurgence of bed bugs has added an unwelcome tension to the start of the school year and made teachers — and students — hyper aware of creepy crawlies in their classrooms.

Because bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, they are classified as nuisance pests. But these tiny insects invoke a huge creep factor. Largely nocturnal, bed bugs creep into their human victims’ beds at night to feed on their blood. Unlike head lice, bed bugs do not live on the human body. Between meals they crawl away to hide in nearby cracks and crevices.

Bed bugs are adept hitchhikers and frequently arrive in schools hidden in the backpacks or clothing of children who live in infested homes. A bed bug sighting can induce panic as it did at Newark High School in Ohio recently when bed bugs were spotted crawling on a student’s backpack. Students were phoning their parents in panic and more than 100 worried parents pulled their children from classes.

Next time: What to do when bed bugs come home from school