Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases: 4 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe

An American dog tick found in San Juan PR - Rentokil, formerly Oliver ExterminatingWhen you think of pests that pass on diseases to humans, mosquitoes and ticks are the two that come to mind first. Unfortunately, we end up dealing with both of them every summer here in the San Juan PR area. In tropical and subtropical climates like ours, bites from ticks and mosquitoes are more likely to result in serious illnesses than in other regions.

It’s important to stay educated on the ways that you can avoid vector-borne diseases every summer. Read on for the top tips on mosquito and tick control from our team of pest control experts at Rentokil, formerly Oliver Exterminating.

What Diseases Do Mosquitoes and Ticks Transmit?

Ticks and mosquitoes have been documented to pass on a long list of diseases to humans that they bite. Some of the most formidable include:

  • Malaria
  • Lyme disease
  • Zika virus
  • Spotted fever
  • Tularemia
  • Dengue
  • Yellow fever

Most of these diseases will subside on their own almost every time, but some, like malaria and Lyme disease, can potentially be deadly if untreated in severe cases. If you are experiencing a fever, rash, lightheadedness, or nausea that you think might be related to a mosquito or tick bite, talk to your doctor.

How to Stay Safe from Mosquitoes and Ticks

There are a variety of strategies that you can use to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks. Here are four ways to stay safe this summer:

  1. Bug spray: An EPA-approved insect repellent will discourage ticks and mosquitoes from biting you. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using.
  2. Long-sleeved clothing: Exposed skin is an open invitation for blood-sucking pests to have a free meal. Although it can be inconvenient in the summer, wearing long sleeves will help keep you safe from bites.
  3. Stay safe inside: When spending time indoors, keep your doors and windows closed or install screens. After a prolonged period outdoors, make sure to check yourself, your family members, and your pets for ticks.
  4. Professional pest control: If you’re experiencing a high volume of ticks or mosquitoes on your property, a technician can come out to assess the source of your issue and develop a plan to help you avoid pests going forward.

Mosquito and Tick Control in San Juan PR

For help dealing with either mosquitoes or ticks, you can rely on your local pest control company. At Rentokil, formerly Oliver Exterminating, we train our technicians to use mosquito barrier treatments, efficient exclusion efforts, and holistic inspection techniques to eliminate any pest outbreak that comes your way. Reach out today for a free quote!

How to Keep the Mosquitoes and Ticks Away

What mosquitoes look like in San Juan PR - Rentokil, formerly Oliver ExterminatingMosquitoes and ticks are common pests that San Juan PR residents deal with in the summer. Any time you’re outdoors during the warmer months, you’re at risk of a bite. With mosquitoes taking to the air and hanging by the water and ticks inhabiting the more densely vegetated areas, it seems like we can’t get away from blood-sucking pests.

Both of these pests are also difficult to keep away. There isn’t one step that takes care of both completely. In fact, lasting mosquito and tick prevention takes adherence to routines and mindfulness. Read on for our experts’ best advice on preventing mosquitoes and ticks this summer.

Best Ways to Prevent Mosquitoes

There are many methods of mosquito prevention that work, but using one without the others won’t result in much change. True mosquito prevention takes multiple forms – you should try:

  • Getting rid of standing water: Cover pools and spas when not in use, and clear standing water from gutters, planters, playsets, buckets, or anywhere else it has collected in your yard.
  • Using insect repellent: EPA-approved bug sprays and citronella candles can both work to keep mosquitoes from biting you.
  • Installing mosquito prevention equipment: Mosquito nets and fans can both be used to physically block mosquitoes from coming close to your home.
  • Getting a barrier treatment: Sometimes DIY mosquito control is not enough. Your local pest control company will be able to prevent mosquitoes with long-lasting spray treatments.

How to Avoid Ticks in San Juan PR

Ticks can be a bit trickier to take preventative measures against. Like with mosquitoes, keeping your yard organized and clear of any clutter or overgrown foliage can eliminate places that they can take shelter.

Ticks can latch on to us and go undetected for many hours due to the anesthetic properties of the saliva that they inject into us. This makes it important to check for ticks on yourself or your pets after spending extended periods of time outdoors. Especially when walking your dogs in areas with tall grass or lots of trees, be sure to perform a tick check afterward. If you do find one, make sure to remove it safely.

Professional Pest Control for Mosquitoes and Ticks

If you have been working to avoid ticks and mosquitoes to no avail, it might be time to contact your local extermination company. The experts at Rentokil, formerly Oliver Exterminating, can take care of your specific pest outbreak with unique and exhaustive treatments tailored to your needs. For a free estimate, contact us today!

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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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!