Pest Points Blog
Professional tips and tricks for keeping your home and business pest free!
Let Preferred Pest Control get your home ready for Spring!
We provide highly effective eco-friendly and family-friendly pest management specifically designed to treat and prevent pests common to the Midwest.
By selecting one of our Preferred Choice Plans, you will be on your way to the instant relief and long-term protection you deserve.
We also now offer same-day service Monday-Thursday if you call our office at 816-279-2000 before 1 pm!
The Bronze Plan:
Insects covered: Ants, beetles, spiders, wasps, crickets, rodents.
On a quarterly basis, we will provide a preventative exterior treatment for seasonal insects and rodents with standard rodent boxes. The client also receives an extra exterior treatment to use as needed. PLUS, a 5% discount on any additional services, such as interior treatments or mosquitoes, not included on the plan.
The Silver Plan:
Insects covered: Ants, beetles, spiders, wasps, crickets, rodents, roaches, pantry pests, silverfish.
On a quarterly basis we will provide a preventative pest control treatment for seasonal insects on the interior & exterior of your home. We will also provide rodent control inside and out with our standard rodent system. The client also receives two extra treatments to use as needed.
Everything the Bronze plan offers PLUS, interior preventative treatments for seasonal insects, interior rodent control with standard bait boxes, TWO extra treatments to use as needed. PLUS, 10% discount on any additional services such as mosquito control or yard treatments.
The Gold Plan:
Insects Covered: (same as Silver) plus termites & bedbugs.
Everything the Silver Plan gets plus protection against termites & bed bugs. If termites or bed bugs, the two costliest pests to treat for in the Midwest, you’re covered at no additional cost! On the Gold plan, you are upgraded to decorative bait boxes for inconspicuous rodent control. PLUS, a 15% discount on any additional services needed.
If you have any questions or would like to start your treatment please call our office at 816-279-2000.
Bed bug infestations can be one of the most traumatic and difficult experiences a homeowner has to deal with. Once you have experienced a night with bed bugs, you’ll quickly realize you will never want to do it again. Thankfully we have a solution that will have you resting peacefully for a long time to come!
Our Rest Assured Program keeps your home protected from bed bugs and you resting peacefully night after night. Our proven Rest Assured program provides highly effective and long-lasting results for homeowners to keep bed bugs out of your home.
Monthly Rest Assured Plan includes:
Thorough inspection – An experienced pest management professional who is trained on how to detect the early signs of trouble will inspect your home for common bed bug hiding and nesting sites.
Guaranteed Service – if live bed bugs are found or if any new signs of bed bug activity are detected, we respond swiftly & at no extra cost to you.
Pest Prevention – Complementary interior pest prevention treatment performed at each appointment to keep your home free of common household insects.
If you have a bed bug problem or if you are experiencing itchy bite marks, give us a call or request a free inspection online.
It’s time for you to Rest Assured!
Preferred Pest Control is prepared to help you preserve the quality of life you have today.
As an essential service, we will continue to do our part to protect our community’s food supply, as well as your homes and businesses, from pest-related property threats and most importantly, protect your family and loved ones from pest-specific public health threats.
How we are providing safe customer service:
- Office Staff is working from home
- Weekly team meetings are being held virtually
- Wearing proper personal protective equipment (face masks, gloves & disposable shoe covers)
- Pest Management Pros starting their routes from home
- Pest Management Pros coming into the office one at a time throughout the day to restock on necessary supplies
- Encouraging customers to pay online or over the phone
- Maintain a social distance of no less than 6 feet while performing pest treatments
- Applying hand sanitizer immediately before & after each service
- Offering a “no-sign” option for completed service tickets
Still hesitant to have a Pest Management Pro inside? We can still service from the exterior to keep pests out. We also offer service consultations remotely over the phone or through video.
Due to social distancing to slow the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak many parents have suddenly found themselves working from home with kids by their side. Schools have been cancelled for at least a short time, but possibly for months. Many are adjusting to a new work from home gig. At the same time they are scrambling to come up with a short term education plan for their kids. Luckily Pest World for Kids is creating free resources to help work from home parents with this very issue.
Working from home with a child by your side can be challenging. There are still deadlines to meet, but the added distractions make it difficult to focus. Finding small activities for kids to work on by themselves is key for you to get something done on your to do list! At this same time, you want to be grateful for the extra time you have been given to spend with them. Pest World for Kids is helping provide FREE resources to help work from home parents with both!
Pest World for Kids has lesson plans ready for parents complete with FREE downloads, activities and games, as well as suggested age appropriate books. They provide a variety of things to do with your kids, but also things they can do on their own. They even went as far to give you the Correlations with National Standards for those who need it!
Message to our Customers
During this uncertain time, our customers’ health and well being is our highest priority. As we continue monitoring developments related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), rest assured, we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure our customers and employees are safe. Our service is essential in preserving the health of our customers and protecting property. As such, we are going to modify our normal service by attempting to mitigate any pest issues from the outside of the home. This means that we will do our best, through the steps mentioned below, to reduce/eliminate inside services over the next few weeks.
- Suspending all interior services/treatments unless absolutely necessary. To protect your property, food and health we will continue interior services for ants, bed bugs, roaches, stinging insects, mice & rats. All other interior pest issues will be addressed on a case by case basis.
- Conducting additional customer screening for any absolutely necessary interior services
- Ensuring our team keeps a proper distance (6ft or more), wears disposable gloves and masks if entering your home, and continues regular hand washing.
As a note, we are running on normal business hours at this time. Should you have concerns regarding our services, we’re here to support you and offer flexibility to reschedule at your convenience. We encourage you to contact us at 816-279-2000 if you have questions or do wish to reschedule.
As the seriousness of this virus increases, all of our employees have been instructed to follow the CDC’s best practices, including frequent hand washing, limiting proximity to sick individuals, and being aware of symptoms. While this has not been an issue for Preferred Pest Control yet, we will also implement 14-day quarantines for any employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19. We encourage you to do the same, so please review the most up-to-date information here.
Finally, our hearts go out to all those affected by Coronavirus. Please check back for regular updates from us as we navigate this evolving situation, and thank you for being a part of our Preferred Pest Control family.
Preferred Pest Control turns 50 in 2020. The Northwest Missouri based company is grateful for the relationship they have with their residential and commercial customers. Especially those who have been with them along the journey of becoming a premier, full-service pest control company.
1st Generation: Russell Smith
Preferred Pest Control was established in 1970 by Russell Smith to provide pest extermination services for local homes and businesses in St. Joseph, MO. Taking care of customers was Russell’s primary focus and the reason for our success then and now. Our many repeat and referral customers helped us grow the business through the years. Janet Cooperider, Russell’s daughter, remembers her dad during Preferred’s early years in this video. She thinks Russell would be very proud to know Preferred Pest Control turns 50 this year!
2nd Generation: Wally & Janet (Smith) Cooperider
In 1972 Wally Cooperider met Russell’s daughter, Janet. During their courtship Wally began helping Russell with his pest services as a way to impress Janet and her dad. He not only fell in love with Janet, but also Preferred. Wally and Janet married on November 3, 1972 and eventually purchased Preferred from Russell in 1977. They operated the business together for many years.
In the beginning Wally and Janet operated Preferred as a part-time venture out of their home. This allowed Wally to keep his full-time night job with TWA. It also gave Janet the ability to keep the phone answered during the day (and night) while taking care of their 3 kids. With a lot of hard work, and very little sleep, they raised their children and grew Preferred into a full-time business by 1993. They believe this growth was due to always putting the customer first and expanding their services to include termite inspections for local home sales. Wally credits the relationships he built with local Realtors for Preferred’s success in this new area.
3rd Generation: Perry & Dawn Cooperider
Over the next 20 years Wally and Janet saw continued success. Both of their son’s, Robert & Perry, helped provide pest control services with Wally off and on over the years as Preferred grew. Eventually business grew into more than Wally could do on his own, even with occasional help from his sons. During this time Wally had an unexpected health scare.
Perry decided it was time to return to the family business help with Preferred in April of 2012. Perry went to work right away upgrading the software Wally had previously used to manage the day to day business. He added new lines of revenue and recognized the need to hire a team to continue growing Preferred for a 3rd generation. Perry’s wife, Dawn, joined the team a few months later and they saw rapid growth in a short amount of time. Several team members were added allowing Preferred to expand its service area to all of Northwest Missouri. Best of all, Wally made a full recovery!
The business eventually relocated to Savannah, MO to allow for further expansion. In July of 2015, Perry and Dawn bought Preferred from Wally and Janet and built the office that houses Preferred Pest Control today. Wally & Janet continue to be a valuable resource for Preferred and enjoy spending as much time with their kids and grand kids as possible.
4th Generation: ???
Perry and Dawn appreciate all the dedication, sacrifice, and hard work that has gone into growing Preferred over the last 50 years and continue to have big dreams for the future. They believe the BEST is yet to come!
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are bad news for homeowners and business owners alike. Due to their small size and excellent instincts to stay hidden they often go undetected until it’s too late for DIY solutions. Knowing what bed bugs look like, the areas they like to hide in and what bed bug activity looks like in those hiding areas is key to kill bed bugs fast. Bed bugs can multiply quickly making early detection, swift action, and dedicated follow through extremely important for successful elimination.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
One of the reasons bed bug infestations spread so fast is because they are difficult to identify. Depending on their stage of life, they can vary greatly in size. A baby, nymph, can be as small as the tip of mechanical pencil lead. As if that doesn’t make it hard enough to spot they are also translucent until they have had their first blood meal. Can you imagine combing through a whole home or hotel room looking for a small clear speck? Impossible!
Adult bed bugs can be easier to spot, but are still fairly small. They are similar in size to an apple seed. A bed bug’s color will vary depending on how long it has been since their last feeding, but they are typically a reddish brown color. Prior to feeding a bed bug will appear mostly flat. However, after a meal they will plump up and appear darker from the blood they just consumed.
Many people initially mistake a bed bug for a tick since they are similar is size and color. However, there are a couple distinguishable features that will help you tell them apart. First, a bed bug will have 6 legs compared to a tick which has 8 legs. The other main difference in appearance is bed bugs have a pronotum, fat neck for lack of a better description, where a tick doesn’t have a “neck” at all. Acuratly identifying the problem pest is crucial to killing bed bugs fast.
Where are they hiding?
The other very important part of detecting a bed bug problem is knowing where they hide. They are looking for shelter in areas of convenience and protection. Bed bugs are easy to smash and instinctively know to protect themselves by hiding in secure areas, but they also like to be close to their next blood meal. Often times they will find hiding spots on the mattress or on the bed frame, but the bed isn’t the only place they will infest.
Think about the places you spend the most time while being still. Do you have a favorite recliner you sit in to read or watch TV? Do you spend long periods of time at your desk? What about those waiting room chairs at your local doctor’s office? These places provide excellent feeding opportunities so bed bugs could be hiding in those pieces of furniture or in the hot zone, anything that is 2-3 feet around that area.
How do I spot a bed bug problem early?
Once you know what bed bugs look like and where they like to hang out you will find it much simpler to spot a bed bug problem early. Bed bugs will squeeze themselves into cracks and crevices for protection. Look along the seams of the mattress edge, the fabric folds on the corners of box springs and where the pieces of your bed frame meet. You are not only looking for live bed bugs. You will also be looking for their shed molts (skin casings) and feces marks. The feces marks will look like someone took a pepper shaker to that area. Sometimes you can also find blood splatter in your linens if they were squished while trying to feed.
Widen your search out to the items 2-3 feet out from your bed, favorite recliner, office chair or other area of concern. Bed bugs will hide in the seams and folds of curtains and drapes. They especially like to hide at the top near the curtain rod, in a nearby night stand or behind artwork hanging on the wall. Other areas often overlooked are the seams between wallpaper or paneling. Also where the wall meets the baseboard or crown molding. They can even squeeze into a small hole in the wall where a nail or screw may have been previously.
Can I kill bed bugs fast myself?
Your success rate to kill bed bugs fast will increase greatly if you catch the problem early. If you can begin your DIY treatment methods when there are only a handful of bed bugs present and be diligent in repeating your efforts often to ensure elimination of stragglers it is possible to control them on your own. However, it is very difficult to notice a bed bug problem until it beyond this point.
Most of the time the people we end up performing bed bug treatments for have already tried all the over the counter products, essential oils and organic remedies they can find online. They have thrown out or set fire to their furniture. They have replaced carpeting and even left the plastic on their newly purchased replacement mattress. However, they still can’t get rid of them. They are better for a while, but they still linger on and eventually come back with a vengeance. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to give us a call.
Preferred Pest Control shares tips for a pest-free baking this holiday season.
As the holidays draw near, families will begin spending more time in their kitchens baking festive treats and snacks. This popular tradition can quickly turn into a nightmare if you find signs of pests, such as cockroaches, rodents or pantry pests like beetles and moths. Once inside your home, pests can spread bacteria and contaminate food surfaces and ingredients. To ensure a pest-free holiday season, Preferred Pest Control, with the help of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), is sharing tips for homeowners to use to prevent pesky kitchen pests.
Preparing for a busy holiday season includes pest-proofing your kitchen and not just decking the halls. Pantry pests such as beetles or moths can quickly infest the food in your cupboards and even contaminate the baking ingredients your family will use when preparing holiday meals this year. Other pests such as mice or cockroaches can spread throughout the house, causing an even bigger issue and headache for people. Follow these tips today to ensure your holiday baking day is pest-free!
8 Tips to Stop Pantry Pests from ruining your holidays:
- Store food in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers.
- Always discard any food past the expiration date on the package.
- Sift through flour, sugar and other dry ingredients carefully before adding to your recipe.
- Routinely clean out pantries and cabinets, checking in corners for signs of pests.
- Check ingredients and food items to ensure packaging is intact before purchasing them at the store.
- Look for any cracks or holes where pests might be coming into your home and seal them shut.
- Keep a clean and crumb-free kitchen, carefully wiping up spills and sweeping frequently.
- Eliminate sources of moisture around the home, paying special attention to the area under the sink.
If household pests are a problem, be sure to contact us for help at 816-279-2000 or click here for more information!
It’s that time of year that we celebrate all things scary! We love becoming a creepy spider or a blood sucking vampire for a night, but waking to a bed bug feasting on you or your children is a nightmare that many families face everyday. Bed Bugs have been making a comeback for several years now and can be found just about anywhere. Over the years we have found bed bugs in a variety of places, from warming shelters to five-star hotels and everywhere in between. Although bed bugs are tiny, they will make you feel like you are living in a house of horrors because they’re so difficult to find and eliminate. Use the tips below to prevent and remove bed bugs so they don’t suck your blood this Halloween!
Tips to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation:
- Get Rid of Clutter – Bed Bugs love small places and narrow crevices. Removing clutter, especially around and under the bed, will minimize potential hiding places.
- Don’t Bring Home Used Furniture – Furniture that has been disposed of could potentially be infested. The couch may be free, but the cost of getting rid of a bed bug infestation will have you wishing you had purchased new rather than used.
- Make Your Bed – Bed Bugs prefer a messy bed, and when bed coverings touch the floor it is an immediate access point for bed bugs to climb into bed with you.
- Move Furniture Away From Walls – This will discourage bed bugs from hiding in narrow spaces between your furniture and the walls.
- Protect Your Mattress – Use a zippered mattress protector on your box springs and on your mattress under your mattress pad.
- Use Light Colored Sheets – Using sheets that are white, or lighter in color, will discourage bed bugs from infesting your bed and make it easier to spot bed bugs, blood marks from feeding, their feces marks or shed skins.
- Home Repair – Seal cracks in floors, walls, and ceilings. Also repair peeling wallpaper. These areas make excellent hiding places for bed bugs.
Already suspect a bed bug problem?
While there isn’t fool-proof method for preventing bed bugs these techniques will make your home less susceptible to bed bugs and make an infestation much easier to diagnose. Bed Bugs can easily hitch a ride in suitcases, on clothing and in other human belongings, allowing them to spread quickly and infest homes, transportation systems, offices and any other place where people gather. If bed bugs do find their way into your home, do not attempt to deal with the infestation on your own. We’ve seen too many people put themselves in dangerous situations while trying to eliminate a bed bug problem. For peace of mind, it’s best to call us for a professional assessment and treatment options.
For more information on bed bugs click here!
To schedule your FREE Bed Bug Inspection click here!
This is the time of year when the temperature drops pushing mice and rats indoors for a warmer place to live. Your warm home, office or even car can provide an excellent habitat for them to thrive. With a constant supply of food and water, plenty of places to build a nest and a controlled temperature they will make themselves right at home.
In honor of National Pest Management’s Rodent Awareness Week we wanted to share the best ways to prevent mice and rats from seeking shelter in your home or workplace. Want to know how to get rid of mice once they are inside? If so, read below for our best advice to the most common questions we get asked about rodents.
How do I prevent mice from getting inside?
It can be difficult to prevent mice from getting inside since they are able to squeeze themselves through an opening as small as ¼ inch in diameter. That is a crack or gap about the size of a pinky finger! They often will find their way in through gaps around windows and doors, cracks and openings around the outside of the property or sewer lines. Take a walk around your property and look for the signs below to determine if you are making it easy for mice or rats to make their way into your home.
- Remove debris such as weeds, wood piles, leaves and other debris away from the exterior of the property
- Seal cracks ¼ inch or larger in foundation and walls with Rodent Stop®. Also check around utility hookups for gaps around pipes and wiring.
- Cover larger cracks, holes and openings with hardware cloth
- Seal opening around the roofline and gutters with metal flashing
- Replace door sweeps and weatherstripping for a tight seal, especially around garage doors.
- Ensure your windows close properly and the frame has a tight seal against the interior and exterior walls
- Trim trees and landscaping back so nothing is coming into contact with any portion of the exterior
- Dispose of food waste immediately.
- Keep outdoor trash cans and dumpsters located away from the exterior of the structure and have a trash service scheduled for regular pickups.
- Store food, including pet food, in glass or metal containers. While plastic containers will protect your food from mice, they will not stop a rat.
- Adopt a cat or dog from your local shelter. The scent of a dog or cat will be a deterrent. Plus, they are excellent at tracking and even killing mice if they get into your home or building.
How do I know if a mouse has gotten inside?
If you are worried your home may already have a mouse or rat problem take a look at the list below. Here are some tale tale signs to search for:
- Droppings – Mice and rats both leave dropping everywhere they go. A mouse’s droppings are dark brown or black pellets with pointed ends. They are similar in size to a grain of rice. The droppings from a rat are quite a bit bigger, ½ to ¾ of an inch long”, and are shiny black in color.
- Strange Noises – rodents will often get in wall voids or above the ceiling. When this happens you will hear scratching or rubbing noises coming from behind the wall, under a floor or above the ceiling.
- Gnawed Holes – Mice and rats will chew through plastic, paper and cardboard. Rats will also chew holes through wood, aluminum, improperly cured concrete, vinyl, plastic, mortar and even bricks!
- Runways – Rodents will create pathways as they learn to navigate around undetected. Look for a narrow cleared path along walls where debris has been slightly pushed aside.
- Grease Marks – When mice and rats are trying to find their way around they will rub up against walls, doors, baseboards, pipes, etc. They will leave behind a greasy smudge in the areas they are coming in contact with.
- Nests – Rodents will create a nest once they are inside. They gather materials such as paper, insulation, and other soft items to shred and pile. Look in corners of closets, under furniture, behind stored items and any other area that goes mostly undisturbed.
- Pet Behavior – Both cats and dogs have sensitive enough hearing that they are able to hear a mouse moving behind a wall before you can. If your dog or cat begins to pace near or scratch at the wall it may indicate they hear something stirring. Barking, whining and spinning in circles near the wall are also signs to pay attention to. Dogs and cats are also able to pick up on the scent of rodents.
- The smell of ammonia from rodent urine trails and nesting sites.
What do rodents eat?
Mice will eat almost anything that you will eat, plus rotting produce, and insects. Most commonly they will get into your stored food items. Keep your cereal, pancake mixes, nuts and grains in sealed containers to prevent them from chewing through the packaging. They will even eat your pet’s food! Be sure to discard any food items that have already been compromised. Rodents carry loads of bacteria and can make your family and pets sick if they consume contaminated foods.
How fast can mice breed?
Baby mice are born in litters of 5 to 6 pups at a time. It takes about 3 weeks for those pups to leave the nest on their own and begin hunting for food themselves. Once they are about 6 weeks old they are able to reproduce. Their gestation period is 18 to 21 days making a new litter almost every other month. With a life span of 2 to 3 years, a single mouse can produce a significant infestation quickly.
How do I get rid of mice once they are inside?
If you have found evidence of mice in your home, office, barn, car or farm equipment swift action is necessary. Putting it off for another day could expose you and your family to a variety of diseases that rodents carry. Below are 5 steps you can take to get mice out of your home:
1. Declutter – removing as many items from an area as possible will help eliminate their hiding and nesting sites
2. Clean– Mice can find the smallest of crumbs to feed on. Vacuuming small pieces of food out of nooks and crannies and wiping spills and stickiness away will keep them from grabbing a quick meal.
3. Seal food in air tight containers – This is important even for pet food. While plastic storage options are great for keeping mice out of your food, it will not keep a rat out. We recommend glass or metal air tight containers for the most protections against contaminated food.
4. Traps – There are a couple of different types of traps available. Snap traps are an immediate kill when a mouse or rat triggers it. However, it will leave you a rodent to dispose of exposing you to the diseases they carry. Another option is glue traps which have an adhesive that sticks to the mouse as it walks across it. This can be a cruel method since the adhesive won’t kill them and they will stay there until they starve to death.
5. Bait – There are a wide variety of rodent baits on the market. All of them require taking proper precautions to avoid accidentally poisoning a pet, child, or other small animals. Baits are designed to be placed in tamper proof bait boxes to prevent accidentally poisoning a child, pet or other small animal. We strongly advise you to use an knowledgeable exterminator if baits are required. Not only is using an experienced exterminator safer, but their professional grade products will eliminate the infestation quicker and without having to suffer through the dead mouse smell that over the counter baits cause.
Where is the best place to put mouse traps and bait boxes?
Trap and bait box placement will depend on if you are addressing a mouse or rat infestation. Mice are curious and will gladly nibble on the bait right away. Rats are much more cautious. They know when something new is placed in their area and will avoid it. Use these tips for success:
Tips for Bait Box Placement
- Place on the floor along the wall or in a corner between potential nesting sites & food sources.
- Make sure the opening is facing away from the wall or corner
- Handle with gloves to avoid scent transfer & coming in contact with diseases.
- Place mouse boxes every 8-12 feet, 15-30 for rats.
- Open boxes to check activity frequently. If no activity is occuring try moving that bait box to a new location.
There are plenty of reasons to dislike mice and rats, especially when it comes to sharing your home of office with them. They are dirty and carry diseases. They ruin your food and can even cause structural damage. Now is the time to rodent proof your home so that you don’t find yourself spending time and money to clean your home and replace your groceries later on.
Contact us at 816-279-2000 or email@example.com if you have additional questions about mice or rats!
By clicking “GET ESTIMATE” I authorize Preferred Pest Control to contact me at this number. I understand I am not required to make a purchase.