Do Carpenter Bees Sting or Bite You?

Carpenter bees rarely sting people in Puerto Rico - Rentokil formerly Oliver ExterminatingIf you’ve ever been stung or chased by a wasp or bee, it’s easy to understand why you may be wary of all bees. Unlike yellowjackets, carpenter bees are reluctant to sting. In fact, stings only occur when a female carpenter bee is directly threatened or provoked. The biggest concern with carpenter bees is not their sting—it’s their wood-boring abilities! Overall, carpenter bees are not concerned with humans so much as they are mating and protecting their nests.

At Rentokil, formerly Oliver Exterminating, we know that stinging insects of any kind are concerning. Our bee control experts are here to share all you need to know about the dangers of carpenter bees in Puerto Rico.

The Dangers of Carpenter Bees

A common fear with carpenter bees is their wood-boring abilities. Carpenter bees tunnel through wood to lay their eggs. However, carpenter bee damage is minuscule compared to that done by carpenter ants or termites. Only when there are dozens of carpenter bees working away for a long period of time would you begin to see the damage of their activity. This is often seen in window sills, porches, roofs, and railings.

The beneficial qualities of carpenter bees far outweigh any dangers they pose. As pollinators, these bees sustain themselves on nectar and pollinate plants as they go.

Are Carpenter Bees Stinging Insects?

While rare, carpenter bees will sting when provoked or threatened. However, male carpenter bees don’t even possess a stinger, making the chances of a sting even lower. Typically, the females are hard at work excavating chambers for their brood. Male carpenter bees are territorial and tend to appear aggressive and dangerous, but this is just for show. The males spend a lot of time hovering near their nest to protect it. Their sole purpose is to mate and chase off predators, allowing females to safely rear offspring. The only time female carpenter bees will sting is when majorly threatened, handled, stepped on, swatted at, etc. More often than not, these bees are too busy mating and working to attack humans.

Carpenter Bee Control in Puerto Rico

If you are noticing an increase in carpenter bee activity near your property or want more information, the experts at Rentokil, form can help. Our bee control experts will walk you through how to stay safe from stinging insects all year long. Contact us today to get started!

5 Smart Tips From the Mosquito Control Experts

Mosquito biting someone in San Juan PR - Rentokil Are there mosquitoes all around your home in San Juan PR? If so, you’re not alone. Our climate is absolutely perfect for mosquitoes – with our high temperatures and humidity, they are able to thrive for the greater part of the year.

Mosquitoes can make use of all kinds of spaces around our yards for breeding grounds. The quick turnaround of their reproductive cycle allows for constantly growing populations. It almost seems like they can’t be stopped!

So, what are we supposed to do to alleviate mosquito problems in our area?

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

To find the best mosquito prevention tactics, it’s helpful to learn about what draws them in. Since their reproductive process is so fast, you’ll generally find mosquitoes hanging around standing water. This is because mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of a still water source. Mosquitoes make use of any standing water that they can find, both natural and man-made. This includes:

  • Pools
  • Spas
  • Ponds
  • Gutters
  • Birdbaths
  • Buckets
  • Anywhere else that rainwater collects

5 Tips to Prevent Mosquitoes

There are a number of DIY mosquito repellent options, and some work better than others. Our experts consider these five preventative measures to be the best options for residents of Puerto Rico:

  1. Get rid of standing water. Because mosquitoes use it for their breeding grounds, eliminating still water from your yard will contribute to a significant decline in mosquito numbers. Check for build-up in gutters, buckets, puddles, and anywhere else you think it could be accumulating.
  2. Keep your lawn mowed. Your lawn could be holding pockets of standing water, or if it is kept untamed, it could be providing safe resting spots for mosquitoes during the night and midday. Mow your lawn regularly, or seek the help of a professional lawn care service.
  3. Consider mosquito control rings. Mosquito control rings can be placed in a water source to reduce the chance of eggs being laid there. They control an area of up to 100 square feet by emitting a type of bacteria that destroys mosquito eggs.
  4. Clean pools, ponds, and birdbaths. Algae growth in your pools, ponds, or birdbaths could be serving as a food source for growing mosquito larvae. Clean algae off of the surface of the water or introduce oxygenating plants to the environment to reduce algae naturally.
  5. Have your yard professionally treated. If you’ve tried all of the DIY mosquito prevention methods you can think of to no avail, it’s time to reach out to your local mosquito control experts.

Mosquito Exterminators in San Juan PR

A professional pest control company can conduct intricate treatments that are designed specifically for your home. Using advanced techniques and eco-conscious products, Rentokil, formerly Oliver Exterminating, has been successfully exterminating mosquitoes in the San Juan PR area for over 60 years. If these tips just aren’t enough to combat your mosquito problem, contact us today for a free quote.

4 Pests You Might See in Puerto Rico

Pest Control is crucial in an area like Puerto Rico that is home to a number of reptiles, rodents, and insects that can plague home and business owners. Puerto Rico is home to a number of persistent pests that require a good deal of effort to prevent and eradicate. Below are a number of pests you might see in Puerto Rico, along with information on the damage they can cause.

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Termites & Mold

Termites and mold often inhabit the same environments. Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating in Puerto RicoTermite infestations and mold problems are two things no homeowner wants to deal with. Unfortunately, they often occur at the same time. In Puerto Rico, discovering a termite infestation can mean discovering not just wood damage, but mold problems as well. This is because mold and termites are both common in areas with decaying or rotting wood.

At Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating, we know termites are distressing, and that a mold problem can endanger your family. Read on to learn all you need to know about the presence of both in your home.

Are Termites Attracted to Mold?

Termite infestations and mold often are found in the same environments because they’re both typically a consequence of rotting or decaying wood. Both termites and mold require dead wood to survive, which is why they tend to inhabit the same structures. Termites and mold thrive in moist conditions with an abundance of cellulose, which is why both problems are typically discovered at the same time. However, termites do not cause the mold themselves. When you discover termites in your home, it’s simply common to also discover mold.

Will Mold Make Me Sick?

Mold is a fungus that forms in damp conditions, often in the aftermath of a leak or flood but occasionally just when wood is in decay. The reason why mold is so dangerous is that it releases spores into the air that can contaminate your indoor air quality. In turn, mold is infamous for contributing to respiratory conditions, including wheezing, and triggering asthma attacks. Mold in your home can lead to unsafe living conditions for you and your family. If you discover a termite problem, it’s best to also have your home inspected for possible mold or fungus issues.

Termites in Puerto Rico

Termites and mold are two things no homeowner wants to deal with, especially at the same time! The best way to protect your Iowa property is to team up with your local termite control experts. Your Rentokil team will work with you to ensure your home is protected against the dangers of mold and termites.

Signs You May Have Termites in Puerto Rico

Termite frass is a common sign of termites in Puerto Rico - Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating

Termites are one of the biggest pest problems in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, it is rare to see termites themselves, making it hard to know you have a problem until damage has been caused. While homeowners likely won’t notice termites, they can possibly notice the evidence of their activity. By knowing how to recognize the signs you may have termites, you can better protect your property from a full-blown infestation. The termite pros at Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating are here to share all you need to know about the signs of termites in or near your home.

Most Common Signs of Termites

  1. Termite swarms. Every year, reproductive termites (also known as alates and swarmers) will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarmer termites are frequently mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring or summer months is a common sign of termites spreading.
  2. Piles of shed wings. After they swarm, the reproductive termites no longer need their wings. So, they will shed them! Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. After being shed, they can often appear in a pile together.
  3. Termite droppings. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds and can appear in groups.
  4. Mud tubes. Subterranean termites nest underground but use mud tubes to travel. These pencil-sized tubes protect the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.
  5. Termite damage. Seeing damage caused by termites is indicative of a serious infestation. Damage most frequently appears in wood around the home. Common damage includes unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards.

Think You Have a Termite Problem?

As soon as you spot any of the above signs of termites, it’s time to call in the experts. A trained termite technician knows exactly where to look for termites and can help identify potential problems. To learn more about termites here in Puerto Rico, give the termite exterminators at Rentokil a call today.

Ways to Stop Inviting Pests Into Your Home in Puerto Rico

Ways to stop inviting pests to your home in Puerto Rico - Rentokil formerly Oliver ExterminatingThere’s really nothing more frustrating than having a pest control issue but not knowing where the pests are coming into your home from. The truth is that pests need a few simple ingredients to thrive. Shelter, food, warmth, and water are right at the top of the list.

With pests being such a common problem in Puerto Rico, it’s crucial to learn how to prevent infestations. Learn how with tips from Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating!

Signs of Pest Problems

Unfortunately, many Puerto Rican households sometimes forget to drain their sinks or bathtubs after using them or leave food around for pests like mice, ants, and cockroaches to feast on. Decanting birdbaths or small kiddie pools to prevent mosquitoes is simple enough but too many homeowners wait until it’s too late. Signs that pests have already made it into your home include droppings, noises in the walls or along your floorboards, chewed wrappers or wiring, a musky smell in the basement, or damaged wood. Seeing any of these signs of pests warrants a call to your local exterminators.

Tips to Reduce Pests in Your Home

Fortunately, there are DIY stops that you can take to significantly reduce the chances that pests make inroads into your home or business.

1. Store Food Securely and Keep a Clean Home

  • The easiest step that you can take right now to prevent pests from making your home an oasis is making sure that all of your food is canned, zipped, protected by plastic containers, or unopened in a drawer.
  • Food or morsels of food on the floor or in the carpet can make it far too easy for mice and other pests to snatch up. If you’re unsure if your kitchen floor is totally free of food, then a quick sweep or vacuum should be enough.
  • Your garbage can also be a hotspot for animals who want nothing more than to chow down. Keep a tight lid on your trash to prevent that from happening.

2. Seal Holes and Crevices Around Your Home

  • Next, you’ll want to prevent pests such as snakes or spiders as well as small pests like mice and ants from getting the chance to enter your home in the first place. But how? Caulking your windows and doors is a great prevention method. As it turns out, weatherstripping and caulking are also wonderful ways to conserve your heating efforts and save on your energy expenses this winter season.
  • Small openings along your baseboards are also ways that critters make it into your home through walls or move from room to room. Plugging up any gaps that you find and perhaps adding screens to your windows and doors can be really beneficial.

3. Keep Your Home and Backyard Free of Clutter

  • Pests such as cockroaches and even termites like to hide in dark places. Out of sight is unfortunately out of mind for too many Puerto Rican homeowners.
  • One way to prevent pests from wreaking havoc on your home is to keep your home and backyard free of clutter. This means keeping trees trimmed and woodpiles away from the home.
  • Removing standing water is also a great way to prevent mosquitoes in your yard.

Keep Pests Out Of Your Home For Good

Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is a haven for pests. The only long-term way of ensuring a future free of pests is enlisting the help of professionals to monitor the situation and make pest control visits when necessary.

Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating has been trusted since 1956, giving personal and thorough pest control care for residents of Puerto Rico and surrounding areas. We make it our mission to provide the best pest management possible and help you to maintain a pest-free home or work environment. To learn more, contact our residential pest control experts today!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Entomologists from Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Tips For Pest-Free Outdoor Living in Puerto Rico

Pest-free outdoor living tips in Puerto Rico - Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating

Here in Puerto Rico, we are used to dealing with a plethora of pests and insects—especially outdoors. Whether you have an outdoor patio or backyard you’d like to use in the coming months, you likely don’t want pest problems ruining your time spent outside. It’s hard to avoid insects entirely outside, but there are a few things you can do to make your outdoor space less attractive to pests in general. To avoid stinging insects, mosquitoes, and flies outside, it’s important to learn how to implement pest prevention into your backyard maintenance routine. The experts at  Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating are here with their top 12 tips for pest-free outdoor living all year long.

How to Prevent Pests Outside

Flies and spiders are typical outdoor pests in our region, but no one wants to discover a wasp nest, mosquito breeding grounds, or ants covering their patio furniture. Certain types of pests can be especially dangerous, making it important to keep them away.

Our top tips for pest-free outdoor living include:

  1. Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half-inch of standing water to breed. Be wary of ponds and birdbaths.
  2. Use tight-fitting lids on garbage cans. Food items in an unsealed container will attract all types of pests.
  3. Ensure your outdoor patio or deck is tidy. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.
  4. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  5. Look out for anthills and wasp nests. Even the smallest mound or nest can contain thousands of insects.
  6. Regularly inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bee activity.
  7. Store firewood away from the home. Piles of wood are a magnet for multiple kinds of pests.
  8. Try burning citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes during outdoor activities.
  9. Replace your light bulbs. Yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights will not attract as many insects.
  10. Consider planting a garden. Certain plants and herbs, including marigolds, mint, and basil, act as a natural insect repellent.
  11. Apply an insect repellent. Any repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  12. Wear insect-repelling clothing. Consider wearing long sleeves or pants to keep pests from biting.

Pest-Free Living in Puerto Rico

Pests and insects are just a fact of life outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean you have to welcome them into your outdoor living space. If you’ve done all you can to prevent pests in your backyard and still have a pest problem, the experts at Rentokil can help. Contact us today to learn more!

How Do I Know If I Have Rats or Mice?

Mouse and rat identification in San Juan Puerto Rico - Rentokil Formerly Oliver Exterminating

A rodent problem is any homeowner’s worst nightmare. Visually, it can be somewhat simple to know if there are mice or rats in your property. However, there are other traits and behaviors that make these two rodents quite different from one another. Here at Rentokil formerly Oliver Exterminating, we know a rodent problem can be a pain to deal with. Because both rats and mice can be dangerous, we want to provide all the facts you need to know about these rodents. Keep reading to learn how to differentiate rats and mice by their body size, droppings, diet, and more.

All About Mice

Mice are typically significantly smaller than rats and exhibit some different behaviors. Here’s how to tell them apart:

  1. The house mouse is usually just 2–4 inches long.
  2. Mice have larger ears and a longer tail compared to its body length.
  3. Mice are often gray or brown in color, with a lighter shade or white color on their bellies.
  4. Mice droppings have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
  5. Most mice feed on fruits, seeds, grains, and occasionally meat.
  6. They produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.

Rat Identification

From the Norway rat to the roof rat, these rodents are known for being larger than their mouse counterparts.

  1. Rats have thicker bodies and tails that are shorter than the length of their body.
  2. They possess small hairy ears and larger feet.
  3. Rat droppings are banana-shaped and much bigger than mice droppings at 10–20 mm long.
  4. Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
  5. Rats are adventurous, omnivorous eaters who will feed on a variety of grains and meats.
  6. They forage overnight and nest in garages, trees, and basements.

Are Rats and Mice Dangerous?

Rats and mice alike can exhibit similar behaviors inside your property if they have infested your home. They are also both dangerous in several ways. Rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of potentially dangerous diseases. They also can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. Lastly, they can cause significant damage to your home. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring. Needless to say, this can be rather dangerous.

Need Help Identifying Rodents?

If you are unsure what type of rat or mouse has infested your home, contact the rodent exterminators at Rentokil. Our team knows how distressing a rat or mouse problem can be, which is why we are committed to keeping you safe from them year-round here in Puerto Rico. Call us today to learn more!