There is nothing I enjoy more than pulling out the holiday decorations at this time of year and decorating the inside and outside of my home. But as we begin to pull out the holiday decorations from closets, garages and attics, make sure that you’re not bringing pests into your home along with your decorations.
Here are a few tips to follow as you pull out your decorations:
- Open your boxes outside before bringing anything indoors
- Remove all the contents outside and inspect them for pests before putting them in and placing them around your home
- If you find boxes with chewed openings, open them with caution – this could be a sign of rodent activity
- When putting your decorations away, use tight sealing containers rather than cardboard boxes. They’re more difficult for pests to gain access inside.
If you do discover a pest problem, make sure to schedule a free pest inspection so you don’t have any unwanted guests this holiday season!
Are you having an unintentional open house for the holidays? If your house has small openings to the great outdoors, even cracks and crevices, insects and larger pests, like rats and mice—could be making their way inside. Rats can squeeze through holes half an inch wide and mice can get through holes one quarter of an inch wide, taking up residence in your attic, in the crawl space under your home, even where the dryer vents to the outside.
Rodents are generally nocturnal animals, with peak activity occurring shortly after dusk and again prior to dawn. Inside occupied structures, they often become active within about 30-60 minutes following the subsiding of evening human activity.
Here are a few important things you need to know about a rodent infestation:
- Rats and mice tend to enter homes in search of food and shelter and will eat any kind of food that people eat
- Rodents can contaminate 10 times as much food as they eat with urine, droppings and hair
- In addition to contaminating your food, rodents are known to carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases, including Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, murine typhus, salmonella, rat-bite fever, bubonic plague and bacterial food poisoning.
Keeping rodents out of your home is the best way to safeguard your health and your property. Contact Massey Services for a free pest prevention inspection and recommendations on how you can help keep rodents out of your home.
Here at Massey Services, every year at Thanksgiving we love to take the opportunity to thank our customers and share with them one of our favorite Thanksgiving desserts! And this one is delicious!
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup whipped topping
Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.
From our family to yours – Happy Thanksgiving!
Termites are destructive pests. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) it is estimated that termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year, and due to the hidden nature of their attack, major damage can occur before they are even detected. Even worse, where you live does not matter to termites. They can get into any home, whether its brick, block or stucco, even homes built on concrete slabs. Preventive treatment is prudent and is recommended as every home is at risk.
Here are a few warning signs that termites may have already invaded your home:
- Termite Wings: Wings are often present after a termite swarm. They are typically found in small piles near window ledges or other light sources.
- Powder: Powder post beetles leave evidence of their presence with piles of a fine, talc-like powder around furniture, flooring and any housing structure made of wood.
- Mud Tubes: Mud tubes are made of particles of soil, wood and debris. These tubes allow subterranean termites to reach food sources above ground level.
- Damaged Wood: Damaged wood includes wood that sounds “hollow” when it is tapped with the handle of a screwdriver or wood that is soft when probed with a sharp object.
- Small Holes or Ripples in Drywall: When termites damage wood within your home, they often create tiny holes in the drywall. Extensive damage to the wood can make the drywall look rippled.
- Pellets: Drywood termites excrete pellets that are kicked out of holes. These pellets often accumulate in piles on window sills, baseboards and under wooden objects.
If you see any of these signs around your home and would like a free termite inspection, contact the professionals at Massey Services. We’ll complete a thorough analysis of your home – inside, outside, over and under – and recommend a termite protection program that’s right for your home.
The holiday season is upon us and many of us will be traveling out of town to celebrate with family and friends. Before you leave your home, be sure to know the facts about bed bugs and how you can protect you and your family so these tiny little bugs don’t ruin your holiday fun!
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long (5-9 mm).
Is there really a huge outbreak?
Bed bugs have made a comeback in the United States over the last few years. The largest outbreaks have been reported in large cities with high rates of tourism.
Where are bed bugs typically found?
Bed bugs are most frequently found in hotels. They travel by hitching rides with unsuspecting guests by crawling into clothing and luggage. All hotels are susceptible to bed bugs – from motels to five-star resorts.
What can I do to protect myself?
When checking into a hotel room or after visiting guests have left your home, you can perform a simple bed bug inspection of the room.
- Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard. You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
- Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
- Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
- Contact Guest Services immediately if you’ve found any signs of bed bugs during your inspection.
If I suspect I was in a room with bed bugs, what should I do when I return home?
- Isolate the items in your travel bags from other items in your home – the garage is a great place.
- Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
- After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
- Check all luggage before storing it away. Vacuum out luggage and clean the exterior surface.
What if I have guests staying in my home?
When welcoming family and friends into your home who have been staying in hotels or on a cruise ship, be aware that bed bugs may have hitched a ride with them. After your guests leave, carefully inspect guest rooms for any signs of bed bugs. Wash all bed linens as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or would like a free, professional bed bug inspection, please contact Massey Services. Have a Happy (bed bug-free) Thanksgiving!
Tony Massey, president and COO of Florida-based Massey Services, is pleased to announce the promotions of John Milton and Frank Oliva to Regional Manager positions.
“Both John and Frank have been providing strong leadership to our team members and have delivered an outstanding commitment to customer service,” said Massey. “Their contributions to the operations team will be a critical and integral part of the growth and expansion of our company into new markets.”
Milton joined Massey Services in 1999 as a Lawn Technician in The Villages, was promoted to Lawn Service Manager in 2001, then General Manager of the GreenUP Villages Service Center in 2002. In 2012 he was promoted to Division Manager of The Villages. He has been recognized with eight Eagle Circle awards, which honor the Massey Services top three General Managers for performance excellence. In this latest promotion, Milton will serve as Regional Manager of the Ocala Region.
Oliva joined Massey Services in 2009 as the General Manager of the Brandon Service Center. He most recently served in the role of General Manager for both Massey Services New Tampa and GreenUP New Tampa Service Centers, where he has consistently grown both sales and revenue. Oliva began his career in the pest management industry almost 10 years ago as a regional Sales Manager for Terminix. In his new role, Oliva was promoted to Regional Manager of Massey’s new Southwest Region.
“The additions of these two regions positions Massey Services for increased market expansion and penetration,” said Massey.
Massey Services currently operates in four states in the southeast and west and provides residential and commercial pest prevention to more than 370,000 customers. As Massey Services celebrates its 28th year of profitable growth, the company will be adding 14 service centers throughout its markets in the first quarter of 2014, allowing for continued outstanding service for its growing customer base.
Every year in November and December we have our annual fall savings event and it’s in full swing right now. So why should you take advantage of our special savings at this time of year? We have several reasons why!
- Pest Prevention: Don’t let uninvited guests show up for your holiday gatherings! Purchase our pest prevention program and prevent pests from getting inside your home now, so you don’t have to control them later! Our pest prevention program focuses on the outside of your home and does not include the routine application of pesticides in and around your home, which makes it better for you, your family (and guests) and our environment.
- Termite Protection: Where we live, it’s not a matter of if your home will get termites, it’s when. And once they’re in your home, termites eat non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Our termite protection program includes retreatment and repair of any new termite damage and covers both the structure and contents of your home. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your home is protected by one of the best guarantees in the industry.
- GreenUP Landscape Services: Is your lawn and landscape ready for the cooler winter months? Now is the time to prepare your lawn for winter weeds and other cooler weather problems that pop up when the temperatures drop. Our landscape program focuses on the roots, ensuring your landscape remains healthy all year long!
- Irrigation Maintenance: Is your irrigation system working properly? With the time change, many of us are required to scale back to watering our lawns and landscapes once a week. Because your lawn is in a more dormant state, watering once a week is fine, as long as your irrigation system is functioning properly. Our irrigation maintenance program takes the guesswork out of maintaining your irrigation system!
Call us or visit us online to schedule a free inspection today!
According to History, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is believed to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.
While this may not be occurring any longer, Halloween is still a day that is known for dressing up in spooky costumes and giving everyone around you a good fright! So in honor of Halloween, we wanted to share a few creepy facts about pests that in our opinion, can be pretty scary!
Did you know…
- Cockroaches can live seven days without a head?
- The preying mantis is known to eat others of its own kind? The most frightening example of this is the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after – or even during – mating!
- Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers? These pests will hitch a ride in your luggage after a hotel stay, which means you could potentially bring them home with you.
- The total weight of all the termites in the world outweighs all the humans in the world?
- Black widow spiders puncture their insect prey with their fangs and administer digestive enzymes to the corpses? By using these enzymes, and their gnashing fangs, the spiders liquefy their prey’s bodies and suck up the resulting fluid.
- Scorpions can lower their metabolism when they are unable to find food and can survive on one insect a year if necessary? However, they do have the ability to spring quickly to the hunt when the opportunity presents itself – a gift that many hibernating species lack.
- The world’s largest rat ever recorded lived just a few thousands years ago and was the size of a house cat? The estimated weight of the largest rat is 13.2 pounds! For reference, a house rat typically weighs around 5 ounces.
Pests can find their way into our homes through avenues that are so tiny or hidden from our sight that we don’t even know they exist. Here are a few homeowner tips that you can follow to help keep pests out of your home:
- Outside doors must be well-sealed. If light can be seen around or under a door, then insects can gain access inside your home.
- Repair torn screens. Screens are a prime entry point for pests.
- Seal around soffits and gable vents. This keeps rodents and insects from getting inside the roof or attic space.
- Seal around conduits and piping where it enters the structure. Many insects and rodents follow power lines or climb conduits and pipes to get inside your home.
- Check gutter drains to ensure water is kept away from your home. This helps discourage moisture build-up adjacent to your home.
- Remove excess leaves from the roof and rain gutters. This keeps ants and other insects from breeding under the build-up.
- Caulk all cracks and crevices. Check and seal under window frames and around pipes entering the side of your home to keep insects from entering.
- Keep trash cans clean and lids sealed. This keeps ants, roaches and flies from feeding and breeding in the trash.
- Keep the garage door closed and ensure weather stripping is in good condition.
- Prune excess vegetation away from your home. Pay special attention to eaves and the roof.
- Remove wood debris and keep woodpiles away from your home’s foundation. This helps prevent rodent nesting or insect colonization next to your home.
- Ensure your irrigation system is functioning properly. Make sure water doesn’t accumulate near the foundation or spray onto your home.
- Guide air conditioner drip lines away from the foundation. Extend the piping at least 2 feet.
Massey’s Pest Prevention program will identify and eliminate these avenues and other unseen entry points during our quarterly visits. Contact us today for a free pest inspection!
As many “snowbirds” begin returning to their winter homes, it’s an important time to remind winter dwellers that their second homes may have been “occupied” by critters such as termites, spiders, cockroaches and ants while they were away.
Nobody enjoys opening up a cabinet or entering a room that has not been used for months, only to find that pests have taken up residence while they were away. That’s why it’s important to properly pest-proof your home before you leave, so nature doesn’t find its way in through cracks, crevices, holes, vents and chimneys.
Here are a few tips for inspecting your home for signs that pests may have taken up residence during the summer months while you were away:
- Look for signs of pests that may have entered your home and died while you were away. Termites, ants, spiders and cockroaches may not have survived the entire time you were away, as evidenced by carcasses or body parts left lying around. Check near window sills, in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and garage for this tell-tale sign of a pest infestation.
- Check for droppings. Another sign that pests may have invaded while you were away (and may, in fact, still be invading) are pest droppings. Check all rooms, particularly those that have access to a water supply, for droppings that are typically brown or black in color and look similar to coffee grounds.
- Infestations don’t always occur indoors. Be sure to check outside living spaces as well for signs that pests may have raided while you were away. Carports, garages and outdoor patio areas are often locations that pests occupy. Signs such as remains, droppings, egg casings and wood shavings are usually left near decaying wood as well as near light and water sources.
If you find any of these signs and would like to schedule a free pest inspection, contact the experts at Massey Services today. Massey’s Pest Prevention program focuses on the outside of your home to prevent pests from getting inside your home all year – even when you’re out of town!