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On November 13th, 2017 by Admin

Q&A: Rodents and Plague

Posted In:
rodents | Tips and Tricks

In the last few months, there have been several news stories about outbreaks of plague around the world and even some cases in the United States. The island of Madagascar in Africa is currently experiencing a devastating plague outbreak that has sickened over 1200 people and killed 124. So, you may be curious… What is plague? How does it spread? What can be done to prevent it? These are some of the questions we will tackle today.

 

Q: What is plague?

A: Plague, also known in history as “Black Death,” is an illness caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis that is found in small animals and their fleas. There are three types of plague: bubonic (in the lymph nodes), pneumonic (lung-based), and septicemic (enters the bloodstream).

 

Q: Is this the same plague that occurred in the Middle Ages?

A: Yes! While the bacteria has changed slightly, it is still remarkably similar to the variety that killed some 50 million people in the 14th century. That amounted to 60% of the population of Europe at the time. While the plague is the same, we now have antibiotics that can help prevent such widespread epidemics. Now, there are only around 5,000 cases of plague reported every year.

 

Q: How is plague spread?

A: Plague is transmitted by the bite of fleas often found on small rodents or through direct contact with infected tissues or infected respiratory droplets. The main animals that spread plague are rodents like rats, voles, prairie dogs, and squirrels.

 

mouse

 

Q: What are the symptoms of plague?

A: Symptoms of plague include: large swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, head and body aches, weakness, vomiting, nausea, and even blackening and death of tissues in the extremities. If caught quickly, plague is very treatable through the use of antibiotics. If left untreated, plague mortality rates range from 50%-100% depending on the type.

 

Q: I’ve never even heard of plague… Do we even have it in the United States?

A: Thankfully, plague has been almost completely eliminated in the United States. The chances of contracting plague here are very very small. That being said, just this year plague in New Mexico hospitalized two residents, and a few months ago, fleas in Arizona tested positive for plague. Plague is most common in the hot, dry Southwest. So, while it is not something to worry about, it is something that still exists. Improved sanitation has been huge in reducing plague. In this century, plague mostly strikes poverty stricken areas in rural Africa or South America where rats and fleas are rampant. Current endemic countries include Madagascar, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Peru.

 

Q: What precautions should be taken to prevent plague?

A: Even though it is not a huge concern in the U.S. you should still follow some basic guidelines. Never handle small animal/rodent carcasses directly, and do not attempt to feed rodents. If you notice a large die-off of a rodent population, report it to authorities so that they can monitor the situation. Proper rodent control is always a good decision.

 

While stories of plague from around the world may sound scary and make you nervous, rest assured that it is extremely rare in the United States. Controlling the rodent population, however, is important not only for plague, but for many other diseases as well. Rodents carry and spread diseases like hantavirus, typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and many others. If you need Kansas City rodent control, Six Brothers Pest Control is here to help. Whether it be rats, mice, voles, or moles, our trained technicians can handle the problem. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose. Give us a call today.

On November 6th, 2017 by Admin

What Are Voles?

Posted In:
Tips and Tricks | Uncategorized

What Are Voles?

You may have heard of voles or maybe even seen them without realizing what they were. Now is the perfect time to learn about them before you have an infestation on your hands and discover how much damage they can do to your lawn this winter.

How do I identify a vole?

A vole is a relative of the mouse. Sometimes they are even called “meadow mice” or “field mice,” but voles are their own species. Compared to a common mouse, voles have a thicker body with a shorter hairy tail. Their heads are also rounder with smaller eyes and ears.  Voles can range in size from 3-9 inches long. Like mice, voles breed very quickly, producing as many as 100 offspring in one year. A small vole problem can turn into a major infestation in no time at all.

 

vole

 

How do I know if I have a vole problem?

Apart from actually seeing the vole, there is other evidence to let you know that you may have a problem. Voles eat grass, plants, roots, and even small grubs or earthworms. To reach the food, they dig well-defined tunnels near the surface of the ground. These tunnels are narrow (approximately 2” wide) and winding and can be visible in your lawn. Often, these tunnels are most noticeable at the end of winter. Voles do not hibernate, and the insulated layer between the grass and snow is the perfect tunneling area. They can make quite a mess of lawns without the owner even realizing it until Spring. The other sign that you may have voles is called a girdle on a tree. Voles will chew the bark off in a complete ring around a tree. These bands can mean death for the tree, so voles can really wreak havoc on your landscaping and yard.

How can I prevent vole damage?

Once you are aware of voles, there is a lot that can be done to prevent them and the problems they cause.

Protect Your Plants

If you are concerned about voles eating your trees or flower beds, you can install physical barriers that can slow the voles down. Install hardware cloth on the bottom and sides of your beds. This will deter them from tunneling into your beds and eating your plants. For trees, you can wrap this same hardware cloth around the bases. Create a cylinder that can go completely around the tree. Put this cylinder 3-6” into the soil and make it extend about 18” above the ground. This should protect your trees from vole damage.

Take Care of Your Lawn

When trying to protect your lawn from vole damage, start by not overwatering. Super saturated soil is loose and easier to tunnel through. Saturated soils also provide a richer food source of earthworms and grubs that will attract voles. It is also a good idea to try to keep mowing your lawn until the first frost. At that point, you can stop mowing and start mulching your beds. Thick, long grass and heavy mulch creates a great insulating layer that the voles will love to tunnel in, so do not do it too soon. It is also best to keep your gardens and yard weeded and avoid dense ground cover or piles of leaves and grass.

Use Vole Repellents

Like mice, voles can be trapped or poisoned using rodenticide. These are potentially hazardous to animals and children, so many people prefer vole repellents. You can attempt to apply vole repellent yourself, but if the application is not done properly, you may not get the desired results. If you are struggling with vole problems or just want to keep them at bay, call Six Brothers Pest Control to come out and take care of the problem for you. We have trained technicians who know how to handle your pest problems. We guarantee our services so that you can feel confident knowing that your home and yard are taken care of. If you’re not sure what type of rodent you are dealing with, rest assured that we can also take care of rats and mice in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today.

 

On October 30th, 2017 by Admin

I Want to Suck Your Blood

Posted In:
Bats | local | Six Brothers

{In celebration of Halloween and all things spooky, for the next few weeks we are going to have some fun on the blog and discuss some of the craziest creepy-crawlies in the animal world.}

 

 

vampires

Attribution: Desmodus; wikimedia CC3.0

 

Vampires

You can’t have a Halloween animal series without some vampires…. vampire bats that is! Bats have gotten a bad reputation because of their nocturnal nature that makes them mysterious and maybe a little feared. None more so than the vampire bat. Vampire bats are the only mammals that have evolved to feed only on blood. They have developed many unique features that allow them to survive. Let’s take a closer look at these blood-suckers.

 

Vampire bats are native to the Americas and range from Mexico to South America. Unlike most bats that we are familiar with, vampire bats have shorter muzzles with thermoreceptors on their noses. This specialization allows them to locate areas on their victims where the blood flows close to the skin. They also have extremely sharp front teeth, used for cutting and piercing.

 

Vampire bats live in colonies in dark places like caves, hollowed out trees, or abandoned buildings. These colonies can consist of a few bats to several hundred. Finding new blood sources is a constant need. A vampire bat can only survive for about two days without its next blood meal. If needed, a donor bat will regurgitate a small amount of blood to sustain another colony member until they are able to find a meal. They hunt when it is completely dark and will usually drink the blood of mammals like cows, pigs, goats etc. Occasionally, vampire bats will even bite humans, though it is a very rare occurrence. Other varieties of vampire bats will also seek out birds. Once they have found a sleeping victim, they will use their sharp canine teeth to shave away the victim’s hair, before piercing the skin. The vampire bat’s saliva contains special compounds that makes it so the blood doesn't clot until the vampire can finish its blood meal. The vampire bat’s teeth are so sharp that you can even be cut handling the skull long after they have died.

 

The real concern with vampire bats is the transmission of disease that goes along with blood sucking animals. Rabies infections have been known to occur in humans from vampire bat bites, but they are much more common in animals. That being said, even rabies transmissions to animals are fairly rare. You can also get sick by breathing in particles of bat droppings, so it is advised to avoid areas where high concentrations of bats have been roosting. If you need to clean up bat droppings, wear a dust mask to protect your lungs.

Bats in Kansas City

In the United States, we do not have vampire bats, but there are many species of bats in our area. One of the most common and widespread species is the Big Brown Bat. They will enter buildings and attics where they may live and hibernate. Bat droppings and urine have a particularly strong odor that is hard to get rid of and may attract other bats to the dwelling. The noise from the bats may also be a big nuisance to homeowners who have a bat infestation. There are things that can be done to keep bats out of your home. Make sure that there are screens on all of your attic vents, as well as over your chimney. Also, check for holes or gaps in your roof or soffits. If you can seal the exterior of your home, that will go a long way in preventing a bat infestation. Because they are useful insect eaters, bats are a protected species in many states. That means that the problem will need to be handled by specialists trained in bat removal.

 

For more fun and spooky reading, check out our Six Brother’s Pest Control blog for other creepy-crawly Halloween posts on Zombie-making Wasps and Nightmare Spiders.

 

On October 23rd, 2017 by Admin

The Spiders of Your Nightmares

Posted In:
spiders | Uncategorized

{In celebration of Halloween and all things spooky, for the next few weeks we are going to have some fun on the blog and discuss some of the craziest creepy-crawlies in the animal world.}

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula

 

Goliath Birdeater TarantulaAttribution: Snakecollector; Wikimedia CC 2.0

 

If you are squeamish around spiders, be grateful you don’t live in the Amazon. The rainforests in northern South America are home to the Goliath Birdeater tarantula, the the largest spider in the world by size and mass. It got the name of “birdeater” because it can literally catch and eat adult birds along with amphibians, rodents, lizards, and worms. Its leg span can be nearly a foot across and the Goliath can weigh up to 6.2 oz.

 

Not only is it a freakishly large spider, but it is also the only spider that makes noise, making a hissing sound by rubbing its back legs together when it is threatened. When it rubs its legs, it also releases hind leg hairs that cause severe skin irritation. Although its bite is rarely dangerous to humans, its fangs can be an inch long and will definitely cause pain. The Goliath is part of local cuisine where the people singe off its leg hairs and roast it in banana leaves. It is said to have a shrimp-like taste.

Huntsman Spider

 

Huntsman SpiderAttribution: John Tann CC 2.0

 

The largest spider in terms of leg span is the Giant Huntsman spider. This largest type of Huntsman spider was recently discovered living in a cave in Laos. Huntsman spiders are creepy because of their size, but also because they are one of the fastest spiders alive. They move sideways at top speeds using a crab-like movement. Huntsman spiders are light brown with dark spots toward the rear and dark bands on their legs. Various species of Huntsman spiders live throughout Asia, but they have been known to hitchhike around the world in shipments of bananas. They have now been found in subtropical regions of Southern California, Texas and Florida.

 

Luckily, we do not have spiders of this size in Kansas, but we still have our fair share. The largest spider in Kansas is a tarantula that can grow up to about two inches long. We also have poisonous spiders like black widows and brown recluses. If spiders are a terrifying nuisance for you and your family, Six Brothers Pest Control can take care them for you. With quality products, expert service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust Six Brothers to keep your home spider-free.

 

If you are not an arachnophobe and want to know more, here is a creepy video of a Goliath Tarantula.

On October 10th, 2017 by Admin

The Zombie Maker

Posted In:
cockroaches | pests | wasps

{In celebration of Halloween and all things spooky, for the next few weeks we are going to have some fun on the blog and discuss some of the craziest creepy-crawlies in the animal world.}

The Emerald Cockroach Wasp

The emerald cockroach wasp is a parasite, and its unique relationship with a common household cockroach makes it one of the creepiest bugs around. Through a series of stings, the wasp essentially turns the cockroach into a zombie slave that will do its bidding. This zombie behavior even goes so far that it allows the wasp’s larva to eat it alive, organ by organ without attempting to flee. So, how is this zombie-making done?

The emerald wasp first stings the cockroach in its thoracic ganglion (nerve clusters of the thorax). The wasp secretes a substance that blocks transmission of motor signals between the nerves. This basically means that it briefly paralyzes the front legs of the cockroach so that it can’t escape while the wasp delivers a second dose of venom. The 2nd sting is aimed at a very specific spot in the cockroach’s brain that blocks its ability to initiate complex movement. This doesn’t mean that it can’t move, only that it can not make the decision to move on its own. Instead, it becomes a zombie and will move as directed by the emerald wasp.

Either to regain its energy or to ensure that the amount of venom is sufficient, the wasp will eat off half of each of the cockroach’s antenna. It will then lead the cockroach back to its burrow by the antenna. It can appear that the wasp is walking the cockroach back to its home, almost like we would walk a dog. Once back to the burrow, the wasp will lay an egg on the cockroach. The now zombified cockroach will wait in the burrow as the egg hatches and the larva chews its way into the cockroach. The wasp larva will eat the internal organs in a very precise order so that it can keep the cockroach alive long enough for it to form a cocoon. Eventually, a full-grown emerald wasp will emerge from inside the cockroach and start the process all over again.

 

 

*An Emerald wasp leading a zombie cockroach back to its burrow-- Attribution: by JMGM; Wikimedia Commons

This zombie-making is fairly unique in the animal world. It is not a normal parasite-prey relationship because of the way the wasp is able to modify the cockroach’s behavior. The cockroach is much bigger than the wasp, so nature found a way to ensure that the emerald wasp could use the cockroach to reproduce. Amazing and terrifying!

Luckily, emerald wasps only target cockroaches, and they live in South Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. So, put your mind at ease, there won’t be any zombie cockroaches in Kansas. That being said, we have plenty of regular cockroaches and other creepy-crawlies that live here. Whether it is ants or spiders, bed bugs or termites, or anything in between, Six Brothers Pest Control can help you take care of the pests that are bugging you. Give us a call today for an inspection and treatment plan. Happy Halloween!

*If you want to watch the emerald wasp in action, you can check out this zombie cockroach video !

On October 9th, 2017 by Admin

Do mice like cheese?

Posted In:
mice | Uncategorized

If you know anything at all, you know that mice love cheese, right? You need look no further than Tom and Jerry cartoons and children’s books all around the world. It just so happens that everything you thought you knew may turn out to be wrong. Hold onto your hats because you may need to rethink all of your preconceived notions about what mice eat!

 

mouse

 

The Truth

Dr. David Holmes of Manchester Metropolitan University released the results of his research in 2006, in which he did a broad study on what kind of foods attract and repel animals. In the study, he found that mice are not attracted to cheese… at all. They will eat it if they are desperate, but the wide range of other foods that they prefer means that your mousetrap set with cheese is unlikely to catch any mice. If you opted for a particularly smelly piece of cheese, your chances are even slimmer. Mice have a great sense of smell, and stinky cheese will drive them away.

Myth Origination

The idea that mice love cheese is so widely held that you would think there must be some truth to it. Digging deep into history might give us some insight. For most of human history, diets were extremely limited. Ancient peoples kept food that was well preserved and easy to store. This included meats, grains, and cheeses. One theory of how the myth got perpetuated is that meats and grains were covered and stored to avoid mice, but cheeses needed to be allowed to breath. It is possible that since cheeses were the easiest food to access, people saw mice bite marks and thought that mice must really like cheese.

 

It seems far-fetched, but another theory is that the myth actually came from Greek mythology. The God, Apollo, was often called “Apollo the Mouse.” In stories, Apollo’s child Aristaeus was said to have taught the world how to produce cheese. This connection between the mouse and cheese may have been passed down through the generations right down to modern times. Although no one knows exactly why the myth started, we now know it is just that… a myth!

What Do Mice Eat?

So, now that you know not to use cheese on your mouse traps, what should you use instead? Dr. Holmes and pet mouse owners throughout the world, have helped us with that one. Mice are most attracted to fruits, vegetables, and grains. Along with these things, people have also noticed that mice have an affinity for treats like peanut butter and chocolate. If you really want to catch a mouse, try using things like sweet cereal pieces, breads, bananas, or peanut butter. I have had the unfortunate need to test this out and can tell you with certainty that mice and rats love bread with nutella. Any of these options are much more likely than cheese to help you catch those pesky rodents.

 

As the weather gets cooler, you might be seeing more rodents and other fall pests around your property. If you are fed up with mice or rats and need some help getting them under control, Six Brothers Pest Control is your go-to pest service in the Kansas City area. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our services because we are confident in our products and our experienced technicians. Give us a call today!

On October 2nd, 2017 by Admin

The Season for Snake Sightings

Posted In:
snake | Tips and Tricks

The Season for Snake Sightings

As the weather cools down, you may start to stumble upon snakes. Spring and fall provide the perfect conditions for snakes to be out in the open. Since snakes are cold-blooded creatures, they rely on ambient heat to control their body temperature. This means that during the hot summer, they often stay hidden away in cool places, but come fall, they come out to soak up the last rays of warm sun. It can be quite startling to stumble on a snake. While the vast majority of snakes are harmless, we do have some dangerous varieties of snakes in our area. Any time you are dealing with snakes, you should be vigilant about safety. Here are some things you can do this fall to keep your property free from snakes and ensure that you and your family are protected.

 

snake

 

Keep Your Rodent Population Under Control

Snakes love to eat rodents, small reptiles, and birds. If your property has a rodent problem, chances are high that it may also attract snakes. One of the best ways to deter snakes is to reduce the rodent population. You can do this by trapping them or using a rodenticide. Eliminating brush and debris from your yard is one of the best ways to avoid rodent problems.

Take Care Around Snake Habitat

Any time you are going into areas where there is a high potential for snakes, it is best to be on the lookout. Snakes prefer areas that are damp, cool, and protected. This could be in wooded areas, along streams, under porches, or in crawl spaces. Snakes can also be found under wood piles, under cars, and perhaps even sunning themselves on rocks in cooler weather.

Remain on the Beaten Path

If you are going for walks or hikes in the early fall, avoid going through areas of thick brush, and instead stay on maintained paths. Not only will you encounter less snakes, but if you do stumble upon one, you will have more warning because you will be able to see them easier.

Avoid Excess Moisture

Excess moisture attracts many different types of animals to your yard, including frogs, birds, and rodents. These animals will then attract snakes. Check outdoor faucets and pipes to ensure that there are no leaks. Also make sure that there is no standing water around. Things like buckets, wheelbarrows, and various kinds of debris can collect water from rain storms and attract unwanted creatures.

Seal Gaps Under Doors or Decks

Lastly, as with most pests, one of the key things you can do is to seal the exterior of your home and sheds. Walk around your home checking for any holes, gaps, or cracks and make sure to seal them up. With snakes, it is also helpful to put screens around porches so that they can not get under them. With a little work, you can help prevent snakes from getting into structures on your property.

 

We understand that snakes are scary for a lot of people. At Six Brothers Pest Control, we want you to feel safe and confident in your own home. We have trained professionals that can remove unwanted snakes and help you prevent future ones. Give us a call today to find out more about our snake treatments.

 

On September 25th, 2017 by Admin

Ant Species Near Kansas City

Posted In:
ants | local

Ant Species Near Kansas City

The line of ants running through you home seems to never stop. You spray and spray, and still the ants continue their ceaseless marching. Ants are definitely annoying to have around and can be difficult to get rid of. In fact, ants are the number one nuisance pest in the U.S. The sheer number of ants makes them a force to be reckoned with. There are over 12,000 different species of ants in the world and close to 1,000 in the US alone. One key to helping you know how to get rid of them is to be able to identify what species you are dealing with. There are many species in the Kansas City area, but here are four of the more notable ones.

Carpenter Ant

 

antAttribution: April Nobile; AntWeb.org

 

Size: ¼” - ¾” long… the giants of the North American ants

Identification: Colors range from black to red to burnt orange. Carpenter ants have a pinched waist and long abdomen.

Habitat: They live on dead or decaying wood; Carpenter ants are often found in trees, telephone poles, wood piles, sheds, and even the walls of homes.

Diet: Plant juices, fungus, scraps, other insects; They do not eat wood like termites, but rather tunnel through it.

Impact: Carpenter ants will tunnel through weak wood and can be destructive to homes and property if not taken care of. While they do not carry diseases, the bite of a carpenter ant can be painful, and the formic acid spray that they emit can irritate skin and eyes.

Argentine Ant

 

argentine antAttribution: Alex Wild; AntWeb.org

 

Size: 1/10”

Identification: Dark brown or black with segmented bodies

Habitat: Originally native to South America, these tiny ants can now be found in most southern states in the U.S. including Kansas and Missouri. The can nest in homes or offices, foundations, siding, etc., but they are drawn to wet environments near a food source.

Diet: They prefer sweet foods, but will also eat things like meats and fats.

Impact: Argentine ants are not dangerous to humans, but they can be difficult to eliminate because they have become immune to certain pesticides

Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA)

 

fire antAttribution: AntWeb.org

 

Size: ⅛” - ¼” long

Identification: Reddish-brown with oval, segmented body and a visible stinger

Habitat: Originally believed to be brought from Brazil, they are now a problem in many southern states. They build medium sized dirt mounds (18”X18”) near homes and structures and will often venture indoors to forage.

Diet: Mostly vegetation

Impact: RIFA can damage crops and gardens from their mound building and foraging activities, causing monetary losses for farmers. They are also an aggressive species, so when they are disturbed, they will bite and sting. These stings can be painful and cause swelling, white pustules, and allergic reactions in some individuals. RIFA can also nest in electrical circuitry, which can cause electrical shorts and millions of dollars worth of damage yearly.

Odorous House Ant

 

odorous house antAttribution: AntWeb.org

 

Size: ⅛”

Identification: Brown to black with a segmented, oval body. They also have a rotten coconut odor when crushed.

Habitat: They often nest in or around houses, which is why they got their name. When not indoors, they can live in exposed soil, under rocks, or under other debris.

Diet: Odorous house ants prefer sugary substances, nectar, and honeydew from aphids

Impact: They are not harmful, but they can contaminate food with their waste and leave behind a foul smell.

 

If you need help identifying or treating the ants that are causing a nuisance in your home, give Six Brothers Pest Control a call. We can help you eliminate the entire ant nest and put a stop to that line of ants that are marching through your home.

On September 18th, 2017 by Admin

5 Common Fall Pests in Raytown, MO

Posted In:
local | pests | rodents | Tips and Tricks

5 Common Fall Pests in Raytown, MO

As September begins, the weather gradually turns cooler, and there is a hint of fall in the air. For our friends and valued customers in Raytown, Missouri, as well as the larger Kansas City area, fall means a new crop of household pests that must be prevented and dealt with. Here are five pests to keep your eyes open for as the seasons change:

 

pest raytown

 

Rodents

During the summer, most rodents are perfectly happy to live outdoors because there is plenty of food and shelter. As winter approaches, however, mice, rats, and squirrels begin to seek a warmer place to ride out the winter months. Unfortunately, this often turns out to be inside of someone’s home. Mice are particularly adept at squeezing through small spaces, potentially even as small as a nickel. Squirrels typically enter the home through the roof or soffits. To prevent rodents from entering, walk around your home and seal any cracks, gaps, or holes you may find.

Stink Bugs

Brown marmorated stink bugs are native to Asia and were introduced into the United States in 1998. In the following years, the population has exploded, and they are now a major agricultural pest. They spend the summers eating fruit and vegetable crops, and then seek a warm area to overwinter. Once inside a home, stink bugs will live in the walls and leave an invisible chemical trail that alerts other stink bugs that there is shelter in the area. Stink bugs emit a strong odor if they are frightened that smells similar to coriander. Stink bugs are very difficult to get rid of once they have infested the walls, so if you notice a large stink bug population in your area, consider getting professional help quickly to keep them out of your home.

Flies

Although you have probably noticed flies buzzing around your picnics all summer long, fall is actually the time that flies are at their peak. The population has been increasing all summer long, and now they are searching for every drop of warmth they can find. You will often find flies clustered together on the outside walls of your home. They are especially common on south and west facing walls as these will provide the most heat. House flies and fruit flies are particularly annoying to homeowners during this season.

Box Elder Bugs

You may have seen the distinctive brown-black bug with the bright red wings. These box elder bugs typically live in box elder, ash, maple, or oak trees. While they are not dangerous, they congregate in huge groups and can be a major nuisance pest. Groups of box elder bugs can often be seen sunning themselves on rocks, trees, or other man-made shelters. If box elder bugs get into your home, their grouping tendencies can quickly create an infestation.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are active throughout the year, but often seek shelter indoors during the fall. German cockroaches like very warm temperatures, and American cockroaches prefer a temperature of around 70 degrees, so your home is the perfect place for these species to spend the winter. Cockroaches can carry several diseases and are also known to cause asthma symptoms, particularly in some children who may be susceptible to allergies. To avoid cockroach infestations, try to keep your home clean and crumb free. It is also important to eliminate moisture caused from leaky faucets or pipes.

As new types of pests are starting to become active just in time for fall, prevention becomes very important. If you start seeing these pests around your home, give us a call and we can perform an inspection and help you start the season on the right foot. Good control and prevention during the fall months will hopefully help keep those annoying pests out of your home all winter long. If you need pest control in Raytown, Six Brothers Pest Control is here to help!

On September 11th, 2017 by Admin

Five Fascinating Black Widow Facts

Posted In:
pests | spiders

black widow facts

Perhaps the most feared of any North American spider is the black widow. Black widows are often the cause of concern and anxiety amongst home owners, but is that fear warranted? Here are five facts that might give you insight and appreciation for this fascinating creature.

 

black-widow-spider

 

1. Black Widows Do Not Usually Become “Widows”

The name “black widow” came from the belief that the female spiders would eat their mates. These observations were made in laboratory conditions where the spiders were held in cages and had no way of escaping. In reality, female cannibalism rarely occurs in the wild among any of the three species of black widows that live in North America. Thus, most males live to mate again, and most females are not widows.

2. Black Widow Venom is Extremely Toxic

The black widow is the most venomous spider in North America. In fact, its venom is 15 times as toxic as a rattlesnake. Although it may be extremely toxic, black widows very seldom cause human deaths because the amount of venom injected is so extremely small. It is estimated that less than 1% of black widow bites result in mortality, and the danger is mostly relegated to the very young, very old, or sick. Not all black widows are even poisonous. Only the female black widow is a danger, while males and juveniles are harmless. If you are bitten by a black widow, you should seek medical attention, but chances are great that the bite will not cause any lasting problems.

3. Black Widows Drink Their Victims

The main food source of black widows are insects, including: ants, caterpillars, cockroaches, beetles, and more. Spiders are an important part of controlling the insect population naturally. After the prey has been caught in the web, the black widow will inject it with a digestive enzyme. This enzyme will soften and then liquify the body, allowing the spider to drink their food as a liquid.

4. Black Widows are Shy

Although they are highly feared, the likelihood of being bitten by a black widow is relatively small. Black widows are solitary creatures that are nocturnal and try to avoid being seen. They live in dark, secluded crevices or corners. In homes, they are most often found in basements or garages or amidst piles of clutter. They are not aggressive and will usually only bite if they are trapped. Bites typically occur when humans accidentally lean against them or bump them while doing things like cleaning, moving boxes, or decluttering.

5.  Black Widow Silk is Among the Strongest of Any Spider

Black widow cobwebs are not the most elegant of spider creations. They spin webs that lack any real shape or form. They have an erratic appearance and are rough and sticky to catch prey. That being said, widow silk is extremely strong, several times stronger than any other spider’s silk. This makes black widow silk extremely important to researchers who are hoping to use its properties to create new highly durable materials.

 

Hopefully, some of the anxiety about black widows has been eased and facts have been separated from myths. Regardless of this new knowledge though, most homeowners still do not want black widows in or around their homes. That’s where Six Brothers Pest Control can help. We have trained professionals working on our team whose main goal is to help homeowners feel calm and confident that their homes will be safe and pest free. If you are concerned about black widows are any other pests around your home, give us a call. We are your Kansas City Spider Control specialists.

On September 4th, 2017 by Admin

Fighting Fruit Flies

Posted In:
pests | Tips and Tricks

As late summer approaches and the harvest begins, you may notice your home being invaded by fruit flies. The fruit fly population slowly builds during the summer until they are quite abundant just as fruits and vegetables are ripening. While not dangerous, fruit flies can be highly annoying as they swarm around your home and yard. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can keep the fruit flies at bay this season.

Fruit flies are small flies that are about ⅓ the size of a housefly. They average 3-4 mm in length and can be identified by their bright red eyes. The body of a fruit fly is often brown or tan with a gray underside.

 

fruit fly

 

Fruit flies are abundant during late summer and fall because they breed near and eat ripened fruit, vegetables, and other fermenting foods. In order to reproduce, they must be in areas that are moist and have organic material and standing water readily available. These required conditions mean that homes, food processing plants, warehouses, yards, and restaurants are prime locations to find fruit flies.

Fruit flies reproduce rapidly and can go through the 4 stages of their life cycle (egg, larva, pupae, and adult) in as little as one week. A few flies can quickly became an infestation and require pest control. Luckily, by eliminating their feeding and breeding grounds, you can eventually get rid of the flies. Here are some tips to help you fight the fruit flies.

  • Refrigerate all produce immediately
  • Wipe up counters and any spills
  • Scrub out trash cans, empty them frequently, and make sure that lids are tight fitting
  • Fix any leaks that may be causing excess moisture in your home or yard
  • Use screens in all of your windows
  • Dispose of any overripe, rotten or damaged fruit (in your home, on your trees, or that have fallen to the ground)
  • Check your drains to see if flies may be living there

Treatments

Once the flies breeding material has been eliminated, the population should decrease significantly. If they are still a nuisance, there are several different methods of pest control to try. Before trying any of them, read the directions carefully to ensure proper handling.

  • Fruit fly traps- These traps have a special attractant that lures fruit flies
  • Pyrethrin sprays- Insecticide derived from chrysanthemums that targets the nervous system of insects
  • IGR (insect growth regulator)- prevents the complete development of insects
  • Residual insecticides- insecticides that remain active for a length of time
  • Drain treatments

If you think that fruit flies may be living in your indoor or outdoor drains, place clear tape over the top of the drain and poke tiny holes that will allow for airflow. After some time has passed, check back. If the tape has any fruit flies stuck to it, you know that your drains may be the source of the problem, and you can use drain treatments to eliminate the flies.

While fruit flies are definitely a nuisance, with some preventive measures and proper handling of ripe fruits and vegetables, it is possible to get through these late summer/early fall months without an infestation. At Six Brothers Pest Control, we want to be your go-to source for information and treatment of all types of pest problems. If you have questions or concerns about household or yard pests, give us a call today. We are your Kansas City pest control experts.

On August 30th, 2017 by Admin

Tips and Tricks to Eliminate Spiders From Your Home

Posted In:
pests | spiders | Tips and Tricks

In the Midwest, we have a lot of spiders. The vast majority of these spiders are not a threat to humans. In fact, spiders eat many insects that are major nuisances including: mosquitoes, flies, and moths. Even with all their value, most people still do not want spiders in their homes. Let’s look at five tips and tricks that can help you eliminate spiders from your home.

1. Maintain a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Having a regular cleaning schedule is vital in the effort to keep spiders out of your home. Dusting and vacuuming regularly can eliminate the eggs and nymphs that might otherwise result in rapid population growth. As you are cleaning your home, remove any webs that you may find in corners, thus eliminating the spider’s shelter and hopefully their desire to stay. To remove spider webs, you can use a vacuum with a hose extension or lift it away with a broom.

 

 

2. Seal the Outside of Your Home

Keeping spiders out of your home in the first place is one of the most effective methods of spider control. Spiders can crawl through cracks as narrow as the width of a penny, so it is important to seal all possible entrances into your home. Use a silicone caulk to fill any cracks or gaps on the outside of your home. Check your window screens to ensure that they fit snugly and there are not any holes or tears. Fix or replace any problems that you find. One of the most difficult places to seal is around doors. Check the weatherstripping along the side of the door. The door should fit securely, and there should not be any gaps. Door sweeps can also be a great way to prevent unwanted insects. Replace your door sweep if you find that it does not fit tightly.

3. Clear Away Clutter

Piles of clutter, both in your home and in your yard, will attract spiders. Leaves, grass, wood piles, and other containers are particularly enticing to spiders. By eliminating these things from your yard, you are decreasing their habitat and making it less likely that they will hang around. Likewise, clutter indoors can create the same problem. Keeping your home neat and tidy is an excellent way to reduce the spider population.

4. Replace Outdoor Lighting

Insects of all kinds are attracted to lights, and spiders are attracted to insects. Spiders eat many of the things that you find buzzing around your outdoor lights, so one helpful hint to get rid of the spiders is to get rid of the outdoor lights. This isn’t always completely possible for convenience and safety reasons. If you do need a light near your door, try replacing the bulb with a yellow, orange, or pink bulb. These colors attract insects significantly less than a bright white bulb. Another idea would be to move the light away from directly in front of the door or at least point it facing away to keep insects and spiders from entering your home as easily.

5. Try Organic Methods of Spider Control

There are also many natural methods for spider control. Peppermint is known to deter insects and spiders because of its potent smell. Try using 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil in a 16 oz spray bottle filled with water. Use this mixture to spray entryways, including doors and windows, thus creating a barrier around your home. Reapply every few days as needed. This same principle also works with lemon. You can spray diluted lemon juice in the same way, and the smell will help keep the spiders away.

 

Sometimes, these tips and tricks are not enough. When you need professional help with spider control, don’t hesitate to give Six Brothers Pest Control a call. We are your Kansas City Spider Control experts. We pride ourselves on taking great care of your home and family. Guaranteed!

On August 28th, 2017 by Admin

Fleas and Your Home

Posted In:
fleas/ticks | pests | Tips and Tricks

If you have pets in your home, you probably know about the possibility of them having fleas. What you might not know is that even if you treat your pet, over half of the flea population in your home could still be in your carpets or linens as flea eggs, larvae, or pupae. By learning to identify fleas and understanding their lifecycle, you can help prevent the spread of fleas leading to an infestation in your home.

Identification

Fleas are small insects that average about 2.5 mm long. They are reddish-brown and shiny in appearance. They have 6 legs, the hind ones being long and powerfully built for jumping. Fleas are parasites that feed on blood. They prefer to feed on hairy animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, etc, but will also bite humans if the opportunity presents itself.

 

flea

 

Attribution: wikipedia; Olha Schedrina

Signs of Infestation

Incessant pet scratching is one of the first signs of fleas. If you notice your pets scratching more than usual, closely examine them. Flea bites appear as reddened bumps and may cause loss of hair in areas. If you do not see actual bugs moving around, you may be able to see black flea droppings on the skin. Flea dirt (feces) resembles coarse ground black pepper and can be found on your pets or anywhere your pet frequents like beds, carpets, rugs, etc. Hind quarters are particularly prone to fleas in dogs, and cats are often affected in the head and neck area.

If the infestation has gotten bad, you or your family might start getting flea bites as well. The bites will be red spots with red halos and are extremely itchy. On humans, bites are often on legs and feet. Washing the bites and using an ice pack and antiseptic spray can help ease the itch, but it is most important to get to the root of the problem and eliminate the fleas.

Treatment

Once you identify that you have a flea problem, there are several things that can be done. Since almost all flea problems are started with pets or animals, start by visiting the veterinarian to get a vet-approved flea control product. Next, clean your home thoroughly. Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction that will pick up the flea eggs and larvae from your carpets. Lastly, depending on the severity or your infestation, it may be wise to call a professional pest control company to treat your home. While fleas may seem simple to get rid of, in actuality, the adult fleas that you can see only represent a small portion of the total flea population that can be in your home. Flea eggs can be about ½ of the flea population, and flea larvae make up another 35%. Oftentimes, area-wide flea control chemical products are needed to kill the eggs and larvae. Your pest control specialists can treat your home to ensure that all the flea population is eliminated.

Six Brother Pest Control wants to help you with your flea problems. We understand that pets are part of the family, and we want to help you keep your homes, pets, and family healthy and safe. If you are facing unwanted pest problems in the greater Kansas City area, give us a call.

On August 23rd, 2017 by Admin

Five Fascinating Facts About Termites

Posted In:
pests | termites

Every year termites do billions of dollars worth of damage to structures and crops. Nobody wants to hear that they have termites eating away at their home, but unfortunately, this is not an unusual situation. Being aware of this insect and the danger they can cause is the first step. To help you start thinking about and understanding the fascinating termite, here are some facts that you might find interesting.

 

termites

 

1. Termites Never Sleep

The fact that termites are working and gnawing away at your home 24/7 can be a depressing thought. Unfortunately, it is a fact of nature that termites are programmed to work for the good of the colony and do not need to sleep. And despite being workaholics, worker termites actually have a fairly long lifespan (2-3 years) when compared to most similar insects.

2. Termites are Important for the Ecosystem

Despite the fact that they are a huge nuisance to homeowners, termites are important decomposers. They turn plant fibers and dead trees into rich soil and are an integral part of keeping forests healthy. They also improve already existing soil by aerating it with their tunnels.

3. Termites have a Complex Social Structure

Termites have a caste-like social structure with various positions that perform different jobs needed for the survival of the colony. The queen is the top of the caste system. She can live 20-25 years and lay thousands of eggs each year. Termite kings stick around to help with the duties of feeding young termites. Workers and soldiers gather food and protect the colony. Most are blind and have no need for functional eyes because they spend all of their time underground or in the confines of the nest. Lastly, reproductives are the next generation of kings and queens that will fly away to find mates and a new nest site. This complex social system has worked well because scientists believe that termites have existed for over 250 million years.

4. Termites are Prolific

The number of termite species on earth today is astounding. Worldwide there are as many as 3,000 separate and unique species. The majority of these species are found in Africa, but the U.S. is home to about 50 different types of termites. When the weight of all these termites is combined, there is approximately 1,000 pounds of termites for every human being on earth.

5. Termites Can Do a lot of Damage

While this fact might not be surprising in itself, the numbers don’t lie. The Formosan subterranean termite is responsible for the majority of the damage done. The largest of these colonies can eat about a pound of wood per day. That may not seem like very much, but over months and years, the unseen damage can really add up. Formosan termites got the nickname of “super-termite” because of how large the colonies are and how quickly they can eat away at structures, causing large amounts of damage. Formosan termites are the most destructive, challenging, and economically disastrous termites in the southern United States.

 

While termites are fascinating creatures that are an important part of the ecosystem, they can also be serious household pests. At Six Brothers Pest Control, we understand the worry and stress that homeowners feel when they find out that their home has suffered termite damage. Luckily, in most cases, termite damage is slow enough that with regular control measures, you needn’t fear. Give us a call today to set up an inspection and treatment plan. We are here to help protect your home and family.

On August 21st, 2017 by Admin

Bed Bug Imposters (Part 2)

Posted In:
bed bugs | pests | Tips and Tricks

bed bug imposters part 2

In the previous blog post, we described how to identify a bed bug and discussed 3 other bugs that often get mistaken for bed bugs: spider beetles, wood ticks, and carpet beetles. In this follow-up post, let’s take a look at three more bugs that resemble the dreaded bed bug and learn how to tell them apart. Here is a quick recap of how to identify bed bugs:

Bed bugs

  • Oval shaped body, typically 4-5 mm in length
  • Brownish-red
  • Tiny colored hairs give them a striped appearance
  • 6 legs, no wings
  • Mostly found in bedding, mattresses, or near bedroom furniture
  • Feed on blood, and bites are usually found in clusters

 

bed bug

 

Fleas

  • Narrow oval shaped body, 1.5-3.3 mm long
  • Appear flat in the vertical plane
  • Black to reddish brown
  • Long, powerful back legs
  • Will bite humans, but prefer animal hosts
  • Do not fly, but are great jumpers
  • Mostly found in shady places with lots of vegetation

 

flea

 

Booklice

  • Elongated shape and pronounced head, 1-1.5 mm long
  • Translucent white, gray, or light brown coloring can be mistaken for bed bug nymphs
  • Feed on fungi, mold, insect fragments, etc.
  • Do not bite humans
  • Found in moist places like kitchens and bathrooms, under wallpaper, and in furniture

 

Booklice

 

Cockroach Nymphs

  • Small head with flat, cylinder shaped body, 4-5 mm in length
  • Reddish-brown color
  • Two cerci (appendages) at their rear end
  • Do not feed on blood; omnivores
  • Live near food sources where it is dark, warm, and moist

 

 

 

Many of these imposters look very similar, so if you need help identifying the pest that you are dealing with or getting rid of bed bugs, give Six Brothers Pest Control a call. We are your Kansas City Bed Bug specialists and can help keep your home and family safe and pest-free.

On August 16th, 2017 by Admin

Bed Bug Imposters (Part 1)

Posted In:
bed bugs | pests | Tips and Tricks

Bed Bug Imposters part 1

The cost and difficulty associated with getting rid of bed bugs has made them notorious in the pest world. Some people assume that any unknown bug found in their bedroom must be a bed bug. Before stress and anxiety sets in, learn to accurately identify bed bugs and possible bed bug imposters.

 

bed bug

 

 

Bed bugs are insects that feed on blood for their sustenance. They often live on or around beds because they are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, which are both plentiful around sleeping humans. They tend to bite in clusters and often leave small, red swollen bumps with darker red centers. Here are a few of the distinguishing characteristics of bed bugs:

Bed bugs

  • Oval shaped body, typically 4-5 mm in length
  • Brownish-red
  • Colored hairs that give them a striped appearance
  • 6 legs, no wings
  • Mostly found in bedding, mattresses, or near bedroom furniture

Now that you can identify a bed bug, let’s look at some of the bugs that often get mistaken for bed bugs:

Spider Beetle

  • Globe shaped abdomen, 1-1.5 mm long
  • Brown, but may have cream colored hairs on their head and legs
  • Long legs with 2 body segments that make them resemble a spider
  • Found in pantries or other areas where they scavenge for food
  • Do not typically bite humans

 

 

spider beetle

 

Attribution: wikimedia.org; Gunther Tschuch

Wood Ticks

  • Wide, oval body that is flat when empty and round when full of blood, 3.5-15 mm
  • Range of colors, but often brown with patterns on their backs
  • 2 body segments; 8 legs (part of the arachnid family)
  • Found in wooded locations on grass or brush
  • Do not jump or fly
  • Burrow into humans or pets to feed

 

wood tick

 

Carpet Beetle

  • Round shiny bodies, 5 mm long
  • Black or brown body with brown legs; different varieties can be a range of colors and can have gray or yellow markings and patterns
  • Have wings and fly
  • Mostly found outside in rodent or insect nests and indoors in attics and crawl spaces
  • Feed on animal products (hair, wool, etc) and dead insects
  • Do not bite humans, but can cause an allergic reaction leading to a rash or welt

 

carpet beetle

 

If you think you may have bed bugs in your home or need help identifying a household pest, Six Brothers Pest Control is here to help. We want to relieve your worry and stress and get you back to enjoying your home and family. We serve all of the greater Kansas City area, including the cities of Lee’s Summit, Independence, and Overland Park. We are your Kansas City bed bug experts.

On August 14th, 2017 by Admin

How To Seal the Exterior of Your Home to Keep Pests Out

Posted In:
ants | cockroaches | pests | rodents | spiders | Tips and Tricks

How to Seal the Exterior of your home from pests

A common theme in our recent blog posts has been to avoid household pest problems by keeping them out of your home in the first place. One of the major tips for doing this is to seal cracks and holes around the exterior of your home. Today, we are going to take a closer look at how to do this and what materials you will need.

Step 1: Walk Around Your Home and Identify Problem Areas

Until you walk around and carefully check the exterior of your home, you may not realize how many potential entry points insects and rodents have. Mice can squeeze through a hole as small as a nickel, which means countless insects can also be coming in the same way. As you are doing a close examination, pay special attention to cracks and holes in certain places that are often problem areas, including:

  • Around windows and doors
  • Along the foundation
  • The roof
  • Attic and crawl space vents
  • Around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines

Step 2: Use caulk to seal small cracks

 

 

Most Home Builders do a good enough job that you shouldn't have to take to these methods. However they may be necessary with agin homes. Weatherproof silicone caulk, available at your local hardware store, is a simple and effective fix for very small cracks, especially around doors and windows. If you need to paint over the caulk, use latex caulk. However, clear caulk is more flexible and less likely to crack or dry out, so it is often better in the long run. Just apply a thin bead in the crack, and it will keep water and pests out.

Step 3: Fill larger gaps with steel wool and foam

For larger holes, gaps, or cracks, especially those often found around pipes, you can fill them with steel wool or copper mesh. This creates a base layer which you can then fill completely with expandable polyurethane foam. Once the foam has cured, you can trim it flush with the house and paint or stain it to match.This is most effective for larger areas because it deters gnawing rodents and insects that may bore through foam alone.

Step 4: Use fine wire mesh to cover large openings

Large openings like chimneys and crawl space or attic vents are more difficult to seal. Although you can’t block them completely, you can create a barrier to entrance. Cover these openings with a very fine wire mesh. The mesh comes in big roles that you can cut to the right size and then staple over the holes. This will prevent large animals like raccoons and squirrels from entering your attic, and it will also prevent most insects as well.

 

Great pest control begins with you. With a few simple fixes, you can do a lot to keep pesky insects and rodents out of your home. We know that not all pest problems can be solved with these tips, so if you need a professional to come out and help you identify problem areas or take care of household pests, give Six Brothers Pest Control a call. We are here to help you with all of your pest control problems.

On August 9th, 2017 by Admin

It's Brown Recluse Season

Posted In:
pests | spiders | Tips and Tricks

It's Brown Recluse Season

The brown recluse spider is one of the most dangerous spiders in North America. They are particularly widespread in our area of Kansas City, as well as the rest of the lower midwest. As the temperature heats up during the summer, brown recluses become extremely active, and there are more and more reports of them in homes. Keep reading to learn how to identify brown recluse spiders and protect against them.

What does a brown recluse look like?

Brown recluse spiders are about the size of a quarter with their legs fully extended (between 6 and 20 mm). They are typically medium brown in color, but can range from light tan to dark brown. The main distinguishing feature is a violin or fiddle shaped mark on their backs. This mark appears to have the neck of the fiddle pointing toward the rear of the spider. This also gives the brown recluse its nickname of “fiddleback spider.” Other spiders have similar markings, so to make a conclusive identification, you have to get a look at its eyes. Most spiders have 4 pairs of eyes for eight total. The brown recluse has 6 eyes arranged in 3 pairs.

 

Brown Recluse Spider

 

How dangerous are brown recluses?

Brown recluse spiders are not usually aggressive unless trapped or disturbed. They hide in dark, dry places and come out of hiding to prey on various insects. Most people who are bitten by a brown recluse do not feel the bite at first. Some may only notice a pimple-like swelling. Others, however may experience a necrotic (tissue damaging) wound that is extremely slow to heal. A very small number of people may experience systemic symptoms that affect the entire body. While the bite is not usually fatal, the venom of the brown recluse can cause serious pain and scarring.

How can you protect your home and family?

Like with most insects, one of the best things you can do is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Keep your yard free of garbage and debris like firewood, boxes, plywood, and brush piles. Garbage close to the home is especially important to get rid of because it provides direct access to your house. Walk around your home and seal any cracks that may exist, along with small entry holes that were originally created for electrical and plumbing. On the inside of your home, there are also precautions that you can take. Move your bed away from the walls and remove things from under the bed so that spiders don’t have an easy way to get onto the bed. You should also keep clothing off the floor and shake it out well before putting it on. If you don’t wear certain clothing or shoes often, store them in tightly sealed plastic bags.

 

Often the first sign that you have a brown recluse problem in your home is seeing the actual spiders. You can use sticky traps placed in corners to gauge the brown recluse population in your home. If you start seeing several spiders, you may want to consider some professional pest control help. Six Brothers Pest Control wants to help protect your family and keep dangerous brown recluses out of your home. If you are in need of help identifying and exterminating brown recluses, give us a call today.

 

On August 7th, 2017 by Admin

Cockroaches on the Move

Posted In:
cockroaches | pests

Cockroaches on the move

Summer is prime time for cockroach activity. Cockroaches thrive in the warm, summer heat and you might start noticing them more often in your home. Since warmer months are their chief breeding season, homeowners should take steps now to prevent further cockroach infestation.

cockroach

 

Cockroaches tend to be a universally repulsive insect. They can spread diseases like salmonella, dysentery, and gastroenteritis. They have also been linked to allergies and asthma because their saliva, excrement, and molted skin can be allergy triggers. The two main species of cockroaches that we see here in the Kansas City area are the German cockroach and the American cockroach.

German cockroaches are beige or light brown with two dark stripes on their head. Most German cockroaches only grow to approximately half an inch long and are not tolerant of the cold. They prefer humid environments and will often hitchhike into homes to find shelter.

American cockroaches are the largest cockroaches that regularly inhabit homes. They are reddish brown with a yellow band behind the head and grow to an average of two inches. They are also known as the “sewer roach” because they will come from the sewers into drains, sinks, and bathtubs of homes. They are often dormant when it is cold and rainy and much more active in warm weather.

If you notice cockroaches in your home, there are many things you can do to help prevent more. Cockroaches need food, water, and shelter in order to survive. If you eliminate these things, they are less likely to seek a place in your home. Try these tips to get rid of cockroaches in your home.

Keep Your Home Clean

Access to food is one of the biggest reasons that cockroaches will find their way into your home. To prevent this, sweep, mop, and vacuum your floors often to keep crumbs away. Wipe up spills on your counters immediately and take out the trash frequently. It is also a good idea to occasionally clean behind your appliances and in your drawers and cupboards where crumbs tend to collect unnoticed.

Fix Areas of Excess Moisture

Leaky pipes or dripping faucets create the perfect humid environment that cockroaches love. Check around your home for any potential leaks, and get them fixed immediately. If your entire home has a humidity problem, you might also consider getting a dehumidifier.

Take Care of the Exterior of the Home

Keeping cockroaches from entering your home is key. Take a walk around the outside of your home and seal any cracks in the foundation or walls. Pay special attention to holes where pipes enter your home. Next, check the weather stripping and screens for your doors and window. If it is damaged or your screens have holes, replace them.

Still need help? If you can’t get control of the cockroach population in your home, call professional cockroach control in Kansas City that can identify potential points of entry to your home and assist you in eliminating cockroaches that may already be living there. Six Brothers Pest Control is on your side and wants to earn your loyalty with our exceptional service and satisfaction guarantee. Give us a call today.

On August 2nd, 2017 by Admin

Throwing a Pest-Free Outdoor Party in Kansas City

Posted In:
local | Tips and Tricks

Throwing a Pest-Free Outdoor Party in Kansas City

Midwest summers mean it's time for barbecues and neighborhood parties. However, those perfect outdoor gatherings can turn sour if disrupted by annoying pests. In the Kansas City area, the most common summer-time outdoor pests are: bees, wasps, ants, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. Here are 6 tips to help you throw the perfect pest-free outdoor party.

Prior Preparation

Some of the best ways to make your gathering pest-free must be done prior to the party. If you are expecting to host several gatherings during the summer, it may be worth it to work pest-repelling plants into your landscaping. Planting geraniums, marigolds, lavender, and lemongrass near your gathering area can help keep the bugs away because they dislike the smells of these specific plants.

lawn mower

 

Shortly before your party, trim the lawn, shrubs, etc. Insects and bugs are attracted to long, thick grass, so keeping everything trimmed can greatly reduce the insect population in your yard. It is also important to remove standing water, where mosquitoes tend to breed, and remove any trash or debris from your yard.

Timing

Many insects, including mosquitoes, are most active at dawn and dusk, so the timing of your party is an important factor to consider. If you host daytime gatherings, you are much less likely to have mosquitoes around.

Food and Drink Care

Bees, wasps, and other insects are attracted to sweet foods and drinks. When preparing food for a barbecue or party, keep all food covered and tightly wrapped until it is time to eat, and then cover it again when you are done serving. It is also helpful to cover drinks using lids. Pests are also attracted to garbage, so keep the garbage cans well away from the group gathering and ensure that the lids are on tightly.

Lighting

If your party runs into the evening, there are still things you can do to avoid mosquitoes. If possible, leave your porch lights off or consider changing the color of your outdoor bulbs. Insects are drawn toward the light, but they are less likely to be attracted by pink, orange, or yellow lights. Tiki torches using citronella oil are a great option. Not only do they create a nice ambiance, but the citronella actually repels bugs. You can also use citronella candles to perform the same functions.

 

lawn torch

 

Insect Repelling Products

One of the best ways to protect your guests is by passing around insect repellent. The EPA suggests using a repellent containing DEET because it has been proven to repel both ticks and mosquitoes and protect against dangerous diseases that they carry like Zika virus, West Nile Virus,  Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and others. Bug lanterns can also be used to repel insects. If you choose a bug zapper, it will actually attract and kill insects, so place it away from your main gathering area.

Professional Pest Control

If you have a particularly bad bug problem this summer, you might consider getting some professional pest control done. Professionals can treat your lawn, shrubs, and under the eaves of your home to eliminate a lot of the potential problems. With monthly maintenance, your summer parties can remain pest-free throughout the entire season. Six Brothers Pest Control is your Kansas City Pest Control expert. We want to help you enjoy your outdoor parties this Summer.

On July 31st, 2017 by Admin

5 Must-See Attractions in Independence, Missouri

Posted In:
local | Six Brothers

5 must see attractions in independence mo

History is the name of the game in Independence, Missouri. This thriving midwest town is teeming with history in the form of pioneers, religious landmarks, and even a hometown President. Whether you are there to stay or just there for the day, you can find plenty of things to keep you interested. Here are 5 Must-See Attractions in Independence, Missouri:

1. Learn About Harry S. Truman

 

Harry S Truman

 

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States and a true midwestern boy. Truman spent most of his youth in Independence, Missouri, and then returned home there after his Presidency. In Independence, you can walk through his old neighborhood, stop at the soda fountain where he got his first job, and go to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Although most of the museum is aimed at adults, the bottom floor is full of great hands-on exhibits for children that shouldn’t be missed when looking for family adventures.

2. Tour the National Frontier Trails Museum

Independence, Missouri is the origin point for three major pioneer trails. See the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails by the carvings left by actual wagon wheels as they headed west. You can go to the National Frontier Trails Museum and view an authentic 19th century covered wagon, along with pioneer journals and artifacts from the pioneer trails.

3. View Religious Sites

Three religions recognize Independence as an important part of their faith’s history. The Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Community of Christ, and Church of Christ (Temple Lot) all have a presence in Independence. At the Community of Christ temple, you can view symbolic artwork, visit the meditation chapel, and see an award-winning stained glass window. At the Mormon Visitor’s Center, you will learn about the faith’s belief that Independence is the site of “Zion” and have a chance to see what it was like as a Mormon settler in Missouri in the 1830’s.

4. Visit the 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home

The preserved 1859 jail contains 12 massive limestone cells where Frank James, brother of notorious criminal Jesse James, and many others were held. After viewing the original jail cells, you can tour the museum and see what justice was like in the mid 1800’s.

5. Tour Independence by Mule-Drawn Covered Wagon

 

trail wagon

 

If you still haven’t had enough history fun in Independence, you can visit Pioneer Trail Adventures. You can choose from several different tours that take you all around historic Independence, all while riding through town in a wagon and listening to stories from the driver. It’s a fun way to make history come alive for all ages!

Six Brothers

Independence, Missouri is an important historical city, but also beautiful thriving area today. Six Brothers Pest Control is proud to serve the great people here and offer Professional Pest Control in Independence, MO. We are grateful for our loyal customers and want to give them great service to match that loyalty. If you are in the Independence or greater Kansas City area, give us a call for your pest control needs.

On July 26th, 2017 by Admin

Getting a Leg Up on Centipedes

Posted In:
pests

Getting a Leg up on centipedes

When you think of a centipede, the first thing you probably think about are legs… lots of legs! The name centipede means “hundred feet”, and although they do not usually have that many, it is an accurate description of a centipedes most distinguishing feature. Most centipedes live outdoors and rarely venture in, but the house centipede can live its entire life in a building. This makes the house centipede a very common household pest.

house centipede

Identification

The house centipede is a long, flat arthropod with one pair of legs on each of its many body segments. An adult house centipede has 15 pairs of legs, and the last pair can be nearly twice as long as its body. Though most house centipedes are only 1-1.5 inches long, the length and amount of legs makes them appear much bigger. House centipedes are a yellowish brown color with three dark stripes going down its body. They also have light and dark bands on their legs.

Behavior

Centipedes are predators that feed on cockroaches, carpet beetles, silverfish and other insects. They like to live in dark, damp environments like crawl spaces, cellars, bathrooms, in floor drains, in cement cracks and crevices, or under boxes or other clutter. Although the appearance of a centipede can be a bit scary, centipedes are usually harmless. They have a venomous bite, but they bite very infrequently and usually only cause temporary pain at the site. The bigger concern when you find multiple centipedes in your home is what kind of other insects or prey they are feeding on. This could signal an infestation that might be more difficult to deal with than the actual centipedes.

Pest Control

Centipede management is not usually too difficult. It involves getting rid of their food source and sealing any entry points that might exist into the home. Start by walking around the exterior of the home and sealing any cracks or crevices that might allow centipedes to enter your home. Pay special attention to any holes made to facilitate pipes or wires. Fill any excess space with screens or spray foam. Also make sure all drains are covered with screens. Since humid environments are the most popular hiding places, fixing leaky faucets and using a dehumidifier is a good idea. After all entry points are sealed, you can vacuum up any live centipedes that you might see, and then find a way to manage any pests that might be bringing the centipedes in. This might involve contacting a pest control company that can identify and take care of pest problems.

Six Brothers

Six Brothers Pest Control can help you with your centipede problems. While centipedes may appear scary, there is no need to fear. With a few basic steps, we can rid your home of centipedes and keep them from entering again.

On July 24th, 2017 by Admin

5 Basic Ways to Keep Pests Away

Posted In:
pests | Tips and Tricks

5 ways to keep pests away

Nobody wants uninvited company in their home. It may be spiders or cockroaches or mice, but regardless of the intruder, there are some basic things that any homeowner can do to help keep their homes pest free.

Keep Your Yard Trimmed and Debris Free

Keeping pests out of your home starts with the exterior of your home. The more pests you have in your yard, the more likely that some of them will come indoors. Tall grass, garbage, and other yard debris attracts rodents and other bugs. It is particularly important to keep these things away from the foundation and walls of your home, as they can create a “bridge” to directly enter the home. Trim back shrubs and plants that touch your home. It is also advisable to use rocks as landscaping directly bordering the home rather than mulch, pine straw, and other bedding that provides the perfect home for pests.

 

lawnmower

 

Inspect the Exterior

One of the most important things you can do to keep pests out is to make sure that there are no easy entry points for them. Walk around your entire house and check the foundation and walls for cracks and crevices. Holes cut for pipes and wires can often be the culprit, so examine these areas carefully and fill any extra space with steel wool. Lastly, examine all doors and windows to ensure that they close tightly. Check for holes in screens and replace any that you find.

Consider Changing Your Outdoor Lighting

We all know that insects are attracted to light. In the evening, you will find a swarm of various insects buzzing around your porch light. Unfortunately, outdoor lights are typically in front of entry points like windows and doors. These clouds of bugs will enter your home as soon as the door or windows are opened. One of the best ways to prevent this is to simply switch out your light bulb. Insects are less attracted to pink, yellow, and orange lights and will be less prone to hover near your home.

 

porch light

 

Get Rid of Excess Moisture

Dark, warm, humid places are the favorite environment of most insects. This can affect the entire house and require the use of a dehumidifier, or it may be as simple as fixing the bathroom faucet. Check all drains and faucets, both indoors and out, to ensure that there are no leaks. In your yard, make sure that there is no standing water where insects, especially mosquitos, breed. Pay special attention to check under sinks for excess moisture that you might not otherwise notice, and fix anything you find.

Keep Your Home Clean

One of the most basic tips to prevent pests is to keep your home clean and tidy. If bugs and rodents don’t have access to food and water, they will be much less likely to enter or stay in your home. This includes regularly performing common household chores like sweeping and vacuuming to remove food crumbs. It is also important to take out the garbage frequently and prevent clutter as much as possible. While it is not realistic to always have a perfectly clean home, the more you can do, the better protected against pests it will be.

 

clean house

 

These basic tips can help you to keep your home pest free, however, sometimes even the best prevention falls short. If you find yourself in a position where you need help with pest control, give Six Brothers Pest Control a call today. We can help solve your pest problems. Guaranteed!

 

On July 17th, 2017 by Admin

Bad Roof, More Pests

Posted In:
ants | cockroaches | pests | spiders | Tips and Tricks

Bad roof more bugs

We get called to thousands of houses each year, so we understand almost everything there is to know about bugs. What we don't know is tested, researched, and found out quickly.

One reason homeowners call us is because of "attic crawlers". Don't worry, we're not referring to zombies.

Attic Crawlers are any bugs that get in through the roof of your home and make their own home in your attic. There's shade, shelter, and a quick trip to food if they head downstairs.

 

bad roof will give you more bugs

 

A bad roof can lead to leaks, costly repairs, and a host of other problems. First off, you need to make sure you have the right roof for your house.

Otherwise, you might get the following in your home.

Spiders- There are a few dangerous spiders here in the area, including the Black Widow. While these shy creatures don't often show their face, it's always better if it stays that way!

House Centipedes- Even though they are among the creepiest looking insects on the planet, they are reletively harmless. In fact, they eat other insects. This isn't a reason to keep them in your house though - Traipsing around the house can lead to the spread of bacteria.

 

house centipede

 

Ants- We've all had ants. Once they decide that there's something worth investigating in your home, they're extremely hard to get rid of. Even baits and sprays that you can get at the grocery stores usually do nothing to curb the flow of ants.

Mice- Most people don't know this, but mice can squeeze through cracks that are only 1/4 inch in diameter. If there's a chink in the armor, they'll find it!

Roaches- No, just no. You may be okay with seeing an occasional insect, but cockroaches are incredibly bad in homes.

If you're looking for pest control, Six Brothers Pest Control is here to make sure you're comfortable in your own home!

On July 17th, 2017 by Admin

Peak Bed Bug Season

Posted In:
bed bugs | pests | Tips and Tricks

shawnee ks, good starts here

Bed bugs are active all year long and do not die or become dormant over the winter like many insects. However, there tends to be an increase in calls about bed bug problems during the hot summer months. Bed bug season lasts from about June to October, with peak season generally coming around August. Why is this? And what can be done to prevent these bed bug infestations in your home? We will explore two main reasons for this Summer onslaught of bed bugs: their love of travel and their love of heat.

Tricky Tourists

Just like you, bed bugs love to travel. They are the great hitchhikers of the insect world. When people are travelling all over the country, you better believe that bed bugs are travelling with them. The time of year when the most consistent travel occurs just happens to be during the summer months.

Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood for survival. This means that they will stay close to the source of their food, often humans. Hiding in mattresses, sheets, cracks, and crevices, bed bugs are tricky to spot and tricky to contain.  Because they are very small and fast, bed bugs can easily get into clothes and suitcases and go home with you. While you are traveling, doing a few basic things can help prevent these tricky tourists from taking up residence in your home.

Inspect Your Sleeping Quarters: When you arrive at a hotel room, give the room a quick bed bug check. Inspect pillowcases and sheets for small dried blood stains. Look at the mattress seams and corners for black, sticky spots of feces. You can also use a flashlight to check furniture, cracks, and crevices for the tiny rust colored bugs. If you find signs of bed bugs, ask for a different room.

Take Care of Your Clothes: To prevent potential spread of bed bugs in your luggage, use the luggage holder for your suitcases instead of putting them directly on the bed. Then when you get home from your vacation, wash all of your clothing in hot water (at least 140 degrees) and dry them for at least 20 minutes. This should kill off any critter that decided to hitch a ride.

 

luggage

 

Warmth Warriors

Bedbugs love heat. They are attracted not only by carbon dioxide from sleeping humans, but also by the body heat that is produced. This means that warm summer months can cause bed bugs to be even more active, breeding and biting with more frequency. Researchers have found that at 64 degrees, it takes 4 months for bed bug eggs to hatch and reach maturity. At 80 degrees, it only takes 1.5 months. This means that an infestation of bed bugs can really take off when it gets warm.

Bites are one of the main things that alert people to a bed bug problem. Bed bug bites are often grouped together in a cluster or a line. They are swollen red areas with a darker red center. Since bed bugs typically feed at night, you most often find bed bug bites on areas of exposed skin like your legs, arms, and face. If you wake up to bites like this, do a thorough check for other signs of bed bugs and call a professional to get the problem taken care of quickly.

Bed Bug Treatment

6 Brothers Pest Control is your Kansas City bed bug expert. In addition, we also service Liberty, Independence, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit and many surrounding cities. Give us a call for a bed bug inspection and treatment plan. Our specialized treatments will rid your home of bed bugs, guaranteed!

On July 12th, 2017 by Admin

Shawnee, Kansas: “Good Starts Here”

Posted In:
local | pests

shawnee ks, good starts here

The city of Shawnee, Kansas has a fascinating history and a bright future. It builds on its heritage of being a small, farm town, while still being fully integrated in the wider Kansas City metro area. In 2010, Shawnee was recognized by Money Magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live.” Let’s take a closer look at how the city of Shawnee came to be and what makes it so great!

A Brief History

Shawnee is located in Johnson County, Kansas in the south west quadrant of the Kansas City Metro Area. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the city of Shawnee takes its name from the Shawnee Indians. The government gave the Shawnee Indians land and relocated them from Missouri to Kansas in 1825. As the Native American population dwindled in subsequent years, the government bought back most of the land and established the city of Shawnee. It was one of the state’s earliest towns and was the site of the first territorial legislature. The population of Shawnee has increased steadily since the 1950’s as people moved away from the congested urban areas and wanted a smaller town feel. The population of Shawnee is now just over 60,000 people.

Shawnee, KS

Recognition

Its residents know Shawnee is a great place to call home, but others have recognized it as well. Shawnee was voted the #17 “Best Place to Live” in 2010 due in part to its affordable housing, great air quality, and short average commute times. These quality of life factors make Shawnee a premier place to live when compared with similar cities of its size nationwide.

Shawnee has also received the designation of “Bicycle Friendly Community” for its many miles of on-road and off-road facilities. It was the first in the metro area to adopt a bicycle transportation plan and prides itself on its great transportation infrastructure. If you love outdoor recreation and a great commute, Shawnee is the place to be.

Attractions

There is always something to do in Shawnee. From outdoor recreation to family friendly museums, Shawnee has you covered.

At Shawnee Town 1929, you can take a walk through living history. This hands-on “museum” tells the story of life in a small farm town in the 1920’s. It is complete with costumed staff who guide you through an old-fashioned farmstead, grocery store, funeral home, barber shop, and typewriter repair shop.

After you have enjoyed your history lesson, you can head over to Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City to help your children learn through play. This family museum provides fun arts and science exhibits and displays that are sensory based and entertaining.

Still looking for more entertainment, hit PowerPlay where you can play arcade games, eat at the pizza buffet and enjoy go-karts and other attractions. In Shawnee, people of all ages can find fun and adventure.

Shawnee is a vibrant city and a great place to call home. Six Brothers Pest Control proudly serves the residents of Shawnee. We love the area and the people. If you ever need pest control in Shawnee, KS or the surrounding areas, give us a call. We offer a satisfaction guarantee that means you can experience all that Shawnee has to offer instead of worrying about the hassles of household pests.

On July 10th, 2017 by Admin

5 Beneficial Bugs for Your Yard and Garden

Posted In:
pests

5 beneficial insects for your yard and garden

Kansas City and the rest of the midwest definitely has its fair share of obnoxious and destructive insects, but there are many beneficial bugs in our area as well. Knowing the difference between good and bad bugs can ease your mind, as well as save you time and money. Let’s take a look at five of the most beneficial bugs to have in your yard and garden this summer.

Lady Beetles

Gardeners are quick to praise lady beetles (aka ladybugs) for protecting gardens from dreaded aphids. Aphids destroy millions of crops every year, and ladybugs are one major form of defense against them. Lady bugs seek out and eat soft-bodied bugs like aphids, as well as various other insect eggs. It is estimated that an adult ladybug can consume 5,000 aphids during its lifetime. They do all this while not eating or harming the plants themselves. Lady beetles are so popular among gardeners, that many suggest buying and releasing them in bulk in your yard.

 

lady beetle

Praying Mantises

Praying Mantises may look scary at first glance, but they are great at controlling the population of many nuisance bugs around the yard. Fleas, fruit flies, grasshoppers, and moths are just some of the praying mantises favorite foods. Praying mantises are green with triangular shaped heads, elongated bodies, and large front legs. If you find them in your yard, leave them alone, and let them do their job of eating bad insects.

 

praying mantis

 

Honeybees

Honeybees are the most important pollinators around the world. Bees move from flower to flower, helping to spread pollen. Large honeybee populations can actually improve crops and increase yields. Unfortunately, honeybee populations have been hit hard in recent years. If you have honeybees in your yard, consider yourself and your flowers lucky.

 

honeybee

 

Green Lacewing

Earning the nickname of “aphid wolf,” a green lacewing can consume up to 200 aphids per week. They also like to feed on caterpillars, mealybugs, thrips, and whiteflies. Lacewings are typically bright green to greenish-brown and many species have golden eyes. Their wings are usually translucent, and their unique appearance makes them fairly easy to identify. Planting coriander and dill will help attract these valuable lacewings to your garden.

 

green lacewing

 

Hoverflies

As a protection from birds and other predators, hoverflies resemble yellow jackets in their body shape and coloration. This causes a lot of confusion from homeowners, and many beneficial hoverflies are killed. Hoverflies have clear wings and are brightly colored with spots or stripes and bands of yellow and brown. Hoverflies are important pollinators, and they get their name because they can often be seen hovering around flowers.

 

hoverflies

While 6 Brothers Pest Control makes a living helping you rid your home of bad bugs, we also want to help you recognize helpful ones. If you have questions regarding these beneficial bugs or have problems with any other pests in your yard or home, call our trained technicians. We are your Kansas City Pest Control specialists!

 

 

On July 5th, 2017 by Admin

Silverfish Problems This Summer?

Posted In:
pests

silverfish problems this summer

Silverfish are the epitome of creepy-crawlies. Not only do they live in dark, dank places, but their fish-like appearance and movements are enough to unnerve anyone. While silverfish are not dangerous of themselves, they attract other dangerous bugs, and they can do loads of damage to your home and property. Now is the time to learn how to identify silverfish and find ways to keep them out of your home.

 

 

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are wingless, silver-colored insects that are typically about an inch long. The get their name from the metallic coloring of their scales, the shape of their bodies, and their characteristic wiggling movements that resemble a fish. Silverfish are good runners, but poor climbers, so you most often see them running across flat surfaces or trapped in a bathtub or sink. Dark areas where moisture is present are the favorite hiding places of silverfish, so they can often be found in basements, under sinks, and in kitchens and bathrooms.

 

What problems do silverfish cause?

Although silverfish can contaminate food, they do not carry any known diseases that can be passed to humans. The main problem comes from the damage that they do to property. Silverfish are highly attracted to various carbohydrates like sugars and starches. They can eat through carpets, book bindings, wallpapers and even clothing. In homes with silverfish infestations, family photos, important documents, and magazines can become food. Not only do they put holes in the things they eat, but they also secrete a yellow substance that can leave stains on your items and walls. Silverfish are also the favorite prey of other bugs like earwigs, centipedes, and brown-recluse spiders, that you definitely do not want in your home. If you get rid of the silverfish, you are less likely to attract other nasty insects.

How do you prevent silverfish?

If you start seeing live silverfish in your home or you find holes or yellow stains on your wallpaper or books, you may have a silverfish infestation. Silverfish populations can grow very quickly because the places they live and multiply in are not checked very frequently. Keeping them out of your home is the first step. Seal any cracks that you may find using caulk and weatherstripping. Keep cardboard boxes, other paper products, and food crumbs off the floor so that they are not attracted to your home. It is also important to check under your sinks and in your basements frequently. If you find any leaky pipes, fix them as soon as possible. You can also take other steps to remove excess moisture in your home like using a dehumidifier and a bathroom fan. These simple steps can help keep silverfish out of your home, but if you already have a silverfish problem, insecticides like permethrin and deltamethrin will kill them on contact.

 

If you want help with identification and control of silverfish, give Six Brothers Pest Control a call. Our trained technicians can help you determine the best course of action and ensure that you get rid of the silverfish in your home, guaranteed!

 

Photo credit: Christian Fischer https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALepismaSaccharina.jpg

 

On June 28th, 2017 by Admin

Flies Driving You Crazy?

Posted In:
pests | Tips and Tricks

Get Rid of Flies

Are flies ruining your summer barbecues and picnics? Are you constantly carrying around a fly swatter in your home? Does the faint buzzing keep you up at night? Unfortunately, these are all common scenarios during the spring and summer months when house flies reemerge. Not only are flies annoying, but they can also be major carriers of disease, so it’s time to get your house fly population under control.

Description

There are many different species of flies. House flies are between 4-7.5 mm long. They are mostly gray with four black stripes along the thorax. The house fly is one of the most common household pests. They like to land and lay their eggs on human food, animal food, dead animal carcasses, garbage, and excrement. As the continue to fly and land on different surfaces of your home, they are transmitting all that bacteria and disease with them. Blech!

 

House Fly Pest Control

 

Since the house fly’s life cycle is so short, it is often difficult to eradicate them from your home. A female house fly can lay as many as 7 batches of anywhere from 75-100 eggs in her life. These eggs hatch in as little as 12-24 hours. Although a single house fly only lives for about one month, there are always more hatching and reproducing to keep up the population.

So, what can you do to get rid of the flies?

First, try to prevent them from coming into your home. Keep your doors and windows closed tight. Check for likely entrances like torn screens, damaged weather stripping or cracks and get them sealed. Next, keep your home as clean as possible from garbage, left out food, sugary liquids, feces, and crumbs. These things will attract flies, and once they are inside, they will reproduce in your house. Fly swatters work well to control the adult house fly populations, but be sure to wipe down surfaces that you touch with the flyswatter. An even better option can be a sticky fly trap. Hang these in areas that receive natural light, like near windows. If the problem is too big to control through these methods, fly bait, traps, and liquid applications can be used. If those annoying flies are ruining your summer, call Six Brothers Pest Control to help you take back control.

On June 26th, 2017 by Admin

4 Crazy Bed Bug Facts

Posted In:
bed bugs | pests

crazy bed bug facts

No matter where you’re from, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” The reason this phrase is so common is because bed bugs are so common!

Bed Bugs feed on blood.

This makes them a potential threat, like mosquitoes that feed on the blood of one victim then another, spreading bacteria. There haven’t been cases of diseases being passed from bed bugs, but that doesn’t mean that bite sites can’t get infected or cause allergic reactions. They aren’t classified as a public health concern, more of just a nuisance pest.

Bed Bugs don’t just live in mattresses.

Sometimes they turn up in areas where you would never expect them: picture frames, fire alarm covers, closets, in clothing, and in basements. They have spread so quickly that they are now sometimes seen in movie theaters, churches, and public transportation. They will cling on to anything that is moving and jump off once they reach a good spot. Your house. They are, however specially equipped with flattened, oval bodies which do allow them to squeeze in between mattresses and hide out there.

 

bedbugs in kansas cit

 

Bed Bugs don’t have to eat very often.

In fact, bed bugs can survive an entire year without feeding! Sometimes we get grumpy after a few hours without eating! This makes them hard to get rid of; if you aren’t constantly being bitten, you probably won’t realize they’re there and call the exterminators.

You can have bed bugs even if your home is perfectly clean.

There may seem to be a correlation between pests and untidy homes, but remember, insects don’t care if you are a neat person, they only care about food and shelter. A clean home provide those just as much as one that is dirty.

If you need bed bug exterminators, Six Brothers Pest Control has your back. Using the most current practices and methods, bed bugs will be gone from your bed - and home - forever. Give us a call today at (913) 703-7373 for professional and reliable service.

On June 21st, 2017 by Admin

Avoiding the Bite This Summer

Posted In:
mosquitoes | pests | Tips and Tricks

avoiding mosquito bites this summer

Mosquitos are considered to be one of the most dangerous creatures on Earth because of their ability to spread deadly disease. In May and June, we start to get a lot of questions about mosquito control. While our area does not face the threats that many countries in the world face due to mosquitos, there are still numerous reasons to get the mosquito population under control and avoid getting bitten. With the recent rise in Zika and West Nile Virus, it’s time to protect yourself and your family by learning how to avoid mosquito bites. Here are some tips:

Eliminate Mosquito Habitat

While it may seem simple, removing the standing water in your yard where mosquitoes breed is one of the best ways to prevent mosquito bites. Dump out kiddie pools, toys, and buckets around your yard that may have collected water. Change water in bird baths weekly, and if you have a swimming pool, use pool treatment regularly and keep the water circulating.

mosquito

Seal Entry Points to Your Home

To prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, cover any holes or gaps in walls, doors, and window. It is also important to check that your door and window screens are in good condition. If you find holes, replace them as soon as possible.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Most varieties of mosquitoes are active between dusk and dawn, but some are out during the day as well. This means that the best way to avoid bites is by wearing protective clothing. If weather permits, wear long sleeved shirts, pants, and socks to prevent exposed skin. During warm weather when excess clothing is not ideal, make sure you use an EPA approved repellent and follow directions carefully. If mosquitoes are particularly bad near dusk, stay indoors as much as possible.

Know the Mosquito Situation

Pay attention to the mosquito situation and know the risks. As of May 31, 2017, there have been 123 symptomatic Zika cases reported to the CDC this year, almost all from people returning from infected areas outside of the U.S. In our area, 2 cases have been reported in Kansas and 1 in Missouri. The impact is minimal right now, but it is important to be vigilant. Start now to make wise decisions to protect your family’s health and avoid those pesky mosquitoes this summer. Most mosquito control is done at a local level through individual pest control treatment plans. Six Brothers Pest Control in Kansas City can help. Give us a call and we can address any mosquito concerns you might have.

On June 19th, 2017 by Admin

Ant Control Using Essential Oils

Posted In:
ants | pests | Tips and Tricks

natural ant control essential oils

Every year as the weather gets warmer, the ants go marching one by one. To frustrated homeowners, the reemergence of these lines of ants signals the first shots in an upcoming battle between man and insect that may last the entire summer and beyond.

Ants are a common problem in millions of homes throughout the country. Just when you think you have solved the problem, a new line of ants will appear in the exact same place and cause even more exasperation. This is because ants mark their paths with pheromone trails so that other ants can follow. These scent trails help ants navigate and will keep more coming back even after you have eliminated the visible ones.

Luckily, there are natural, effective solutions to your ant problems. Essential oils just may be the answer you are looking for. Allow us to introduce you to three of the most effective essential oils that will send those ants marching the other direction.

ants

Peppermint Essential Oil

Most insects, including ants, hate the smell of peppermint and will steer clear of it. The strong smell will also interfere with their scent trails keeping them far away from your house. As a bonus, your home will also smell great.

Apply some peppermint oil to a cotton ball and wipe the baseboards or other entry points with the cotton ball. You can also leave the peppermint doused cotton ball in cupboards or pantries where ants tend to go.

Peppermint also works well in spray form. Fill a small spray bottle with distilled water and add 10 drops of the essential oil. Spray this solution around the baseboards or anywhere else that you see ants entering. Peppermint oil can be reapplied as needed to maintain control.

Orange or Lemon Essential Oil

Citrus fruit contain a compound in their peel called d-limonene which is harmless to humans, but toxic to ants. D-limonene dissolves the waxy coating of the ant’s exoskeleton. This will kill any ants that have been directly sprayed, and the citrusy smell will also act as a deterrent for future ants.

Once again, fill a small spray bottle with distilled water and add orange or lemon essential oil to the water. Spray this mixture on the line of ants, on the ant hill, or around the perimeter of your home. If you don’t have the essential oil, you can also put some orange rinds in a blender with water and blend until smooth. You can use this mixture just as you would the essential oil blend.

Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil contains a substance called eugenol, which kills insects on contact. The clove odor is also repellent to insects like ants, flies, and moths. Clove oil can be used on its own, but often works best when combined with peppermint or orange oil. Just get a quart of water, add a few drops of whichever combination of oils you prefer, and then pour it into a spray bottle. If you have liver disease or are pregnant, consult a doctor before using clove oil.

Everyone wants safe, effective solutions to their pest problems. Hopefully, you will get some relief from your battle with ants this summer with some of these essential oil remedies. If you need some more help to get rid of ants in Kansas City, Six Brothers Pest Control is here to help. We use only the safest products and treatments available. Like you, we are dedicated to keeping your family safe and healthy.

On June 14th, 2017 by Admin

Don’t Get “Ticked” This Summer

Posted In:
local | news | pests | Tips and Tricks

Dont get ticked this summer

The CDC has issued a warning that the U.S. could be in for a particularly severe season for tick-borne disease. In our area, KSHB 41 Action News recently reported that Kansas City and surrounding areas will likely experience these heavy tick populations because of the mild winters we have had recently. So, what do you need to know to keep your family and pets safe?

Why are ticks dangerous?

Ticks are small 8 legged members of the arachnid family. Ticks come in various shades of black and brown depending on the species. They have a small head and teardrop shaped bodies that will fill with blood and swell as they feed. Ticks must eat blood from mammals, birds, and other creatures to survive. If it is infected with any kind of bacteria, virus, or parasite, the tick can spread it and may pose a risk to humans.

 

picture of a tick

 

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease with 30,000 cases reported annually. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a bulls-eye rash. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, heart, and nervous system. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is the second most common disease associated with ticks. Two other tick-borne diseases were discovered close to home. Heartland Disease was discovered near St. Joseph, MO and the Bourbon Virus was found in Bourbon County, KS. Luckily, if caught early, most tick bites are not dangerous and antibiotics can stop these diseases in their tracks.

How do you get ticks?

Ticks are mostly found in wooded and brushy areas where high grass is present. Ticks do not jump or fly, but instead grab on as you or your pets pass by. While there are definitely a lot more ticks in backwood areas, it is estimated that three-quarters of tick bites actually occur on your own property because you spend so much more time there.

What precautions should you take against ticks?

If you are vigilant about following safety recommendations and checking for ticks after you have been outdoors, you can enjoy this summer without added worry. The CDC recommends wearing clothing treated with permethrin or using insect repellent with at least 20% DEET. Since most tick bites come from your own property, keep your grass short and your yards clean of wood piles, trash, and debris. You should also check yourself, your children, your pets, and your gear after you have spent time in the outdoors. Ticks tend to migrate to warmer areas, so check the scalp, armpits, and groin area particularly carefully. If you find a tick, remove it immediately. It often takes 24 hours before a tick will attach and start feeding. If the tick has attached, pinch the skin near the tick’s head and use a pair of long-nosed tweezer to grasp and pull the tick out in a slow, steady motion. There is usually no need to see a doctor unless symptoms appear. For your four-legged friends, tick collars can provide some protection, but it is best to see a vet for proper treatment and vaccinations.

Professional Tick Control in Kansas City

Six Brothers Pest Control can help keep your family and pets free from ticks. If you are already finding ticks on your property or just want to prevent them, give us a call and we will be happy to provide service and answer any of your questions.

 

 

On June 12th, 2017 by Admin

How Do I Know if I Have Termites?

Posted In:
pests | termites | Tips and Tricks

How do i know if i have termites

All throughout the midwest and south, people have a legitimate concern that their home may be decreasing in value due to termite damage. After all, they do billions of dollars worth of damage every year in the US alone.

Identification

Termites look a lot like ants, but there are a few key difference that makes them easy to distinguish. The first characteristic is the fact that subterranean termites live below the ground. If you what look like termites out in the sunlight or inside your home, they are probably just ants. There are other types of termites in this area, but none are of as much concern as subterranean termites. Physically, they appear much like ants, but have a thicker waist, unline the pinched midsection of ants.

 

subterranean-termites-kansas-city

 

Don’t Believe the Myths

There seems to be a recurring idea among many of our customers (and potential customers) about the actual damage that termites can do. Even more so is the rate at which they do said damage. Termites are wood-eating machines, sure, but a typical colony will only eat about a pound of wood per year. So no, if you don’t have your home inspected every six months it won’t collapse. The real issue comes when five and ten years pass without a termite inspection or regular termite plan. Kansas City, as part of the midwest, shows that 60% of homes will experience termites within a ten year period. If it’s been a while, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment.

The Signs of Termites

Termites are sneaky. They are underground, which means little to no visibility until it’s too late. One thing that you can visibly see are small “mud tubes” that termites use to travel. They are often found at the base of your home where cement is; they build these so that they don’t have to be in direct sunlight. They’re basically little wood-eating, underground vampires.

termite-mud-tube

Your Termite-Free Home

Six Brothers Pest Control protects the home of Kansas City by providing termite treatments, inspections, and ongoing affordable termite plans. Your home is your biggest investment; treat it well by eliminating and preventing termites. Call (903) 703-7373 today.

On June 7th, 2017 by Admin

What to do if You’ve Been Bitten by a Black Widow

Posted In:
pests | spiders

bitten by a black widow

The Black Widow Spider is arguably the most feared spider in the United States. Rivaled in the Midwest by the Brown Recluse, just the sight of it sends a shiver down your spine. Although we hope this never happens, here are some things to consider if you ever find yourself the bite victim of the Black Widow.

Some Background

First of all, you need to be sure that it was actually a Black Widow. If it is still around, you’ll see a shiny black body with a red hourglass shape on its abdomen. There are hundreds of different spiders, and even if bitten, they rarely cause you much harm. Even with Black Widows, the chances of death are extremely low. This increases if a child is bitten, however. If you suspect your child has been bitten by a Black Widow, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t call us, call your doctor! We can come out at a later date and treat for spiders.

black-widow-spider

First Things First

Find the Spider that bit you. If you saw it or felt it happen, kill the spider and identify it. Remain calm-- it doesn’t help to become panicked and disoriented, this will increase the blood flow and circulate the venom faster. Look at the wound. You may see two small bite marks or simply a red swelling in the area.

 

Symptoms from a Black Widow spider bite can be minimal or severe. They can include: muscle cramps, headache, vomiting, rise in blood pressure, chest pain, and shock. The reason for these is that the venom is actually a neurotoxin, which affects your brain and nerves.

 

Applying ice to the area may keep the swelling down and provide some relief. Do not tourniquette the area as you would a rattlesnake bite.

Prevention is Key

The Black Widow is one of the most dangerous bugs in Kansas City, but in all reality, you shouldn’t spend much time worrying about it. They are often hidden away out of view and only bite as a last resort. Be careful if you are in outside sheds, moving brush and debris, or outside on patio furniture. Wicker furniture is a favorite spot, so take a quick look before sitting down and you’re good to go.

 

Six Brothers Pest Control in Kansas City can come out and treat for spiders and other insects to take the worry away. We’re easy on the environment and your wallet, give us a call at (913) 703-7373.

On June 5th, 2017 by Admin

Tips to Stop Ants in Their Tracks

Posted In:
ants | pests | Tips and Tricks

ants in their tracks

It seems like every spring and early summer we are bombarded with ants. They can squeeze through tiny cracks and invade your house overnight. As long as they find a good source of food (like your pantry) and a nice place out of the heat, they’ll stay for as long as possible. The question is, how do you actually get rid of them. Here are a few practical ways to avoid ants right now and in the future.

Act Quickly

Like any pest in or around your home, you need to get on it quickly. If you see an ant or two in the kitchen or bathroom, they are probably just scouts that are searching for a food and water source. If they find it and signal to the rest of the colony, it can be extremely difficult to take out the colony.

Identify the Species Before Treating

Whether you are planning to buy a product at the store or use a pest control service, the first thing that needs to happen is identify what type of ant it is that is in your home. This is important because certain types of ants can split their colonies without a moment's’ notice, leading to a decrease in ant activity and then flurries for months afterward. That’s because these “satellite” colonies aren’t beholden to a queen like others, and it makes getting rid of them a game of attrition and skill. You can find out more at sites like pestworld.

 

 

Choose Wisely

If you choose to do it yourself, there are a few things you should know firsthand. You’ll need to read and research the products beforehand so that you treat the species correctly and apply the right amount. You’ll also want to keep in mind that you’ll likely need a place away from kids and pets to store the pest control product that you purchase.

Six Brothers to the Rescue

If all else fails, get a Kansas City Exterminator to come to your home and treat in and around it. We realize that you have a lot of things to do, and probably don’t want to have to kill ants during your free time. Six Brothers is professional and has regularly trained individuals that will be able to identify the pest species and come up with a short and long term plan to get rid of them for good.

On April 18th, 2017 by Admin

Dangerous Bugs in KC

Posted In:
local | pests

dangerous bugs kc

Most bugs, insects, and other pests are just a mere annoyance. Out of the thousands of them within 100 feet of your current position, only a fraction of them can do any real damage. Here are the ones about which you should be cautious.

Brown Recluse

Sometimes known as the fiddleback spider due to the violin shaped markings on its back, this arachnid can cause extensive tissue damage if you are bitten. Brown Recluse rarely bite without provocation, in fact the most common reason they bite is that they are in clothing that is on the ground and it gets picked up and put on without realizing they are there. They then make contact and are jostled, resulting in a bite. Cleanliness and regular treatments are key here.

 

kissing bug kansas city

Kissing Bugs

Recently the Center for Disease Control and Prevention put out a statement having to do with the spread of this insect. It has now made an appearance in most southern states, and is now in Kansas as well. Like mosquitoes and bed bugs, the "triatomine bug" feeds on the blood of mammals, including humans, and brings parasites and bacteria with it. Symptoms from the bite include rahes, diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal damage and heart problems.

Black Widow Spider Kansas City

Black Widow

The Black Widow may be the most famous and feared of all American Spiders. Known for eating its partner after mating, the bite of a Black Widow causes extreme pain because of the neurotoxins in the venom. The bite site may swell and redden and the victim may feel nausea, headaches, an increase in blood pressure, and some paralysis. The vast majority of bites are not fatal, though extreme caution needs to be taken when pets and children are concerned.

Mosquitoes

Synonymous with "annoying", mosquitoes have caused more deaths in the world than any other insect by far. Credited for the spread of diseases like malaria and the zika virus, there's reason to be more than a little concerned about making sure you are covered and have the correct repellent. Always wear long sleeves when you're outside for long periods of times and research the types of repellent that work best in this area.

bedbug kansas

Bed Bugs

It used to just be a cute saying, "don't let the bed bugs bite", but now its more of a daily occurrence in some homes. Bed bugs feed on human blood, but don't need it that often to survive. So just when you think they are gone and the bites go away, they are just biding their time. In fact, bed bugs have been known to go without feeding for up to a year. Our kids can barely go up to an hour without feeding! While not fatal, bed bugs are somewhat more than just an annoyance and are very hard to get rid of.

Our Goal

We want to be the go-to pest control company in Kansas City. By treating customers like family and providing a stellar service, we know that we can together reach new heights and continue to "wow" you with every interaction.

 

On April 17th, 2017 by Admin

How We Can Offer a Guarantee

Posted In:
Six Brothers

Guarantee Six Brothers Kansas City

We have customers ask us almost on a daily basis how we can offer a pest free guarantee. When someone hires a local exterminator, they want to know that they are getting a high-quality service that promises professionalism.

Our Process

The first step of the equation is quality service. We'll knock on the door and ask about any pest issues you have been facing.

If inside service is requested, we will get started with that. The products that we use are environmentally friendly, meaning you don't have to leave your house.

The first thing we do when we arrive at a customer's home is inspect the property and note any potential harborages or pest breeding sites.

We'll take a look near the home, around the bushes, close to electrical boxes, and any other place where pests frequent.

The next step is to apply the appropriate treatment, whether it is dusting, sweeping the eaves, installing traps, or a barrier or lawn treatment.

Training Second to None

Having educated, trained, and licensed technicians make it possible to completely guarantee the outcome we desire.

The initial treatment will eliminate most of the pests, however that's not the primary purpose of the first treatment.

Furthermore, different products will be used from regular treatments that will flush pests from their hiding places and disrupt them from breeding.

The next service will be performed approximately 30 days later, which will effectively break the egg cycle and get rid of the persistent pests.

Professionalism

We strictly follow product labels to ensure maximum efficiency, so once we lay down the barrier treatment, you shouldn't be seeing many pests afterwards.

Each home is different and has different surroundings. For example, a home located next to a farm field could have twice as many pests as a home located in the middle of a subdivision.

Either way, if pests do come back, we'll come back to re-treat your home at no cost to you.

Our Commitment

We aim to be the best pest control company in Kansas City. By approaching services with professionalism and customers with friendliness, we can save you time and money by eradicating the pests that are annoying you and causing health concerns for your family.

 

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