Common Pests

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can be difficult to locate in homes and other structures. The Turf Doctor lawn and pest services has the required knowledge and expertise to solve even the most difficult carpenter ant problems. Careful inspection of your home from the interior and exterior provides important clues that help our skilled technicians solve your carpenter ant problems.

If you’re noticing piles of saw dust, this may be a result of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, but they do tunnel in wood with the goal of enlarging their nest site to accommodate the constant egg laying of the queen.

Structural damage can be caused by carpenter ants that have gone undetected for long periods of time. They are often found in wall voids, sill plates, corner posts, window frames, door frames, under attic insulation and occasionally in roofs. Carpenter ants prefer moist wood for nest sites.

Carpenter ants have a single node at their waist, they’re omnivorous and consume most of the foods that humans eat. They measure approximately 1-2 centimeters in length.

Mice

The Turf Doctor understands that without fail, these small invaders can find their ways into our homes through the smallest of openings. Along with them they can bring disease. They prefer to live in dark hidden void spaces and do most of their feeding at night.

Mice are the most economically important of commensal rodents. They are disease carriers and are commonly encountered by humans. They gnaw on various materials and contaminate both stored and open food items, including pet food.

Rodents cause more than a billion dollars in damage annually in the United States.

The house mouse has a body length of 2 ½ – 3 ½”, not including an additional 2 ½ – 4” in tail length. It weighs from 1/2 – 3/4 oz. Its fur is smooth and grey on top and light grey to white on the stomach. Mice droppings are 1/8 – 1/4″ in length with pointed ends and black in color.

The Turf Doctor can create a comprehensive rodent control program to fit the needs of your home or business. After a careful inspection of the interior and exterior perimeters of your property and building design, we can begin the process of eliminating your mouse problems quickly, professionally and economically. Pest exclusion for mice is not 100% effective, but we advise sealing off gaps and closing off openings that can be located and we offer this service to all our pest control customers.

Rats

The Turf Doctor understands that without fail, these small invaders can find their ways into our homes through the smallest of openings. Along with them they can bring disease. The CDC has noted that rats are responsible for the spread of more than 25 diseases, here are just a few; Murine typhus, rat-bite fever, Trichinosis, Salmonella, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and plague. The Turf Doctor is here to service your home or business to prevent rat presence or eliminate these pests from your property.

Norway Rats
Norway (Brown) rats produce 3-6 litters per year on average and can live up to 3 years under ideal conditions. They are nocturnal by nature and normally will drive out mice living in the same area.

These rats prefer subterranean nest sites and are commonly found in crawl-spaces (which we enter often). They are approximately 20-25 cm long with tails measuring up to 25 cm in length.

Facts about Rats

  • Rodents are responsible for than a billion dollars in damage annually in the United States.
  • Rats can fall 50 feet without injury.
  • Rats can jump 4 feet horizontally.
  • Rats can jump 2 feet vertically.
  • Rats have been documented swimming up to 1/2 mile in open water.
  • Rats can chew through plumbing traps and regularly use sewer lines to travel.

The Turf Doctor Philosophy
Our philosophy to rodent control is to exclude them from all possible entry points of a building, perform a thorough inspection of the property and advise the owner/management of any issues that would need to be corrected to obtain the best results. A comprehensive rodent control plan using professional methods will be presented and put into action after your approval.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches have been around for more than 350 million years. Cockroaches are one of the most adaptable of the beetle family and successful insect groups. Worldwide, there are nearly 4,000 species, but only 25 to 30 become pests. Although Maine is blessed with only a small percentage, urban cockroaches have adapted well to the even temperatures and moist conditions that we maintain in our homes and workplaces.

Cockroaches range in size from 1/8” to 1 ½”, are nocturnal and stay hidden whenever possible. Although they are omnivores and will eat anything organically-based. The most important aspect of cockroach damage is a result of their harboring in damp and unsanitary places (sewers, garbage disposals, bathrooms, open drains, dirty trash receptacles and unsanitary areas of kitchens).

As cockroaches forage, filth and germs from these unsanitary sources, as well as their fecal droppings, are spread onto food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, utensils and other surfaces. Diseases transmitted as a result include various forms of food poisoning or gastroenteritis.

When they are seen in the open or in the light, it usually means that a large infestation is present, and you should call The Turf Doctor to schedule an inspection.

Spiders

Spiders have a characteristic appearance easily recognized by everyone. They possess eight, proportionally-large legs, they lack wings, do not have antennae, and their bodies are comprised of two regions – a fused head and thorax, and an abdomen.

All spiders have jaw-like structures, the end of which is a hollow, claw-like fang, through which venom is injected. Spinnerets, located at the very end of the abdomen, are linked to glands from which silk is spun for web making.

After constructing a web, a spider will patiently wait to snare an insect. Once one is caught, the spider will drive its fangs into its prey, inject it with digestive enzymes and consume the insect until all the juices have been removed and the remainder is a dry, crumpled lump.

Although spiders are invaluable as predators and natural regulators of insect populations, they’re certainly not a fan favorite around Maine, when they decide to inhabit our home. No matter where you live, there is a species of spider that can make its home there. Even when you can’t see one hiding in a dark corner or scurrying under the couch, you can still see the evidence of their presence by the webs that they have spun over lamps, in corners, in basements and around the exterior of your home. Although spiders are beneficial and should be tolerated whenever possible, if you feel that your tolerance has reached the saturation point,  give us a call and we will dispatch a technician to treat your concerns.

Occasional Invaders

Occasional invaders are insects that usually appear in your home at some stage of their development, but do not complete their entire life cycle there. Elongated periods of drought, an unexpected deluge of rain or the onset of cold weather could displace an excessive amount of these insects and send them scurrying into your living space. Invading in large numbers, they are considered a nuisance simply because of their presence: clover mites (smaller than a pinhead, dark red in color, invading in large numbers and leaving red smears on light colored walls and drapes); centipedes (brownish, flattened, elongated with a pair of legs attached to the many body segments and are prone to bite); sowbugs (gray, perfectly ovate with a large pair of antennae). Some occasional invaders may establish residence in your home: field cricket (black in color and resembling a grasshopper, but without the long abdomen, and will feed on cotton, wool, silk and leather); silverfish (silver in color, ½” long, carrot-shaped with three tails of similar length protruding from the abdomen and feeding on starchy substances such as flour, starch, glue, paste and paper products). Whatever the reason for these insects invading your home, The Turf Doctor, Lawn and Pest Services has an environmentally sound approach to keep these occasional invaders outside, where they belong.

Fleas

Fleas are small, wingless, blood-feeding parasites of mammals and birds. In addition to delivering an itchy and sometimes painful bite with their piercing, sucking mouthparts, fleas can lie dormant for several months, until a host – either you or your pet(s) – become available.

Fleas are attracted by body heat, movement and exhaled carbon dioxide, and can detect these cues even in the pupal stage. You could return home, after an extended absence, and trigger a flush of newly emerging adult fleas, ready to feed, as well as a rush of activity from adult fleas that have been without a meal all the time the pet was away. Such fleas are interested in all available warm-blooded hosts, not just your pet

Fleas can also transmit diseases that could greatly affect the health of yourself (epidemic typhus and bubonic plague) and your pets (tapeworms). Under favorable conditions and adequate blood meals, a flea can survive from one month to a year, and a female flea can lay 4 – 8 eggs at a day (400 – 800 during her lifetime) on either the host or the associated bedding. Flea populations can get out of control in short order, and if you’re losing the battle, give us a call.

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