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Downes Blog

Welcome to the Downes Pest & Wildlife Blog, a repository of great information and helpful tips on all kinds of pests and how to deal with them. Enjoy!

Where the wild things are…meet your new roommate

Posted by on 12:45 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Greetings and squeaks! If I told you my name, you wouldn’t be able to pronounce it unless you are a proficient speaker of Mouse. So, you can call me … Fievel. And I’m a mouse. There are some misconceptions out there about us mice, and though most mice couldn’t care less than a chunk of Swiss cheese what you think, I figured I’d do you a favor and clue you in…now that we’re roommates. Yeah, so I’m living under your roof. Sorry…but I found holes in your foundation and it really wasn’t tough to sneak in. I don’t need a hole much bigger than a dime to get in. So now that I’m your roommate, here are a few things you might like to know: 1) We mice are the triathletes of rodents. We can climb really well, and we can swim! We can also jump up to 18 inches straight in the air! But weirdly, Wheaties hasn’t offered any of us a contract. Which is unfortunate, because … 2) … we love cereal. In fact, we love grains, nuts, and sweet things. Contrary to popular human belief, we’re actually not huge fans of cheese. So if you lock up the Parmesan but leave an open bag of salad croutons on the kitchen counter, I consider that an engraved dinner invitation. And yes, of course I will come. With a date. 3) We keep stashes of food all over your house. You know that bowl of dry kibbles you leave out all day for Fifi the Poodle to nosh on? Well, when no one’s looking, I’ll dash out there, grab a kibble, and bring it back to one of my hiding places. Then I’ll do it again, and again, and again. All day long. That way I know I have plenty in the event you all go to Disney World. 4) We don’t just eat what you and your pets eat. Remember when your mother-in-law brought you that lovely lavender-and-lemongrass candle-and-soap gift set? Yeah, I ate it. 5) “There’s No Place Like (Your) Home.” As long as I have food, shelter, and sufficient moisture (and it doesn’t take much moisture — I get most of the water I need from my food), I may not travel more than 10 feet away from my nest. 6) Bathroom’s all yours. As a roommate, I’m never going to hog your facilities. I’m just going to do my thing all over the place. I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’m incontinent so for convenience’s sake I just pee wherever I’m standing, pretty much every moment. And as far as, ahem, “number two”, I drop at least 70 a day. No, it’s OK, I’m not embarrassed. You have all the time in the world to take a bath and dry your hair. I wouldn’t dream of interrupting you in there. 7) If the mousehole is rockin’… Two mice can become 5,000 in one year. I don’t have time to tie a sock to the doorknob (besides the fact that I don’t wear socks, nor do I know how to tie a knot), so if you haven’t seen me in a while, just assume I’m, you know, busy. I hope this little get-to-know-me-better has been helpful. Please don’t go to bed tonight without leaving the last Oreo on the dining room table. Thank you…I appreciate it....

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Bats: Facts about these little flying furballs

Posted by on 12:43 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do bats make you a bit nervous? The best way to conquer your fear is to learn a few things about bats. If you have bats living in your home, it’s not an ideal situation for you or the bats, so of course call us to evacuate them. But  meanwhile, here are some fun facts about these mysterious little night creatures. 1) Bats are the ONLY mammals that fly! (Those so-called flying squirrels? Well, they should perhaps be called gliding squirrels, because they merely glide from tree to tree; whereas bats actually fly.) 2) The biggest bat in the world is the Malaysian flying fox. It weighs about 2 pounds and has a wingspan of about 6 feet! Don’t worry; you’re not going to find one in Downes Pest & Wildlife’s service area — these big guys are found only in Asia. But if you do live in the Boston area and happen upon a Malaysian flying fox in your attic, never fear: they only eat fruit. Offer it a couple of bananas or something, then post a few pics of it on Facebook before calling the Department of Agriculture and having a serious chat. 3) All bats found in Massachusetts are insectivores. They feed primarily at night, catching thousands of mosquitoes, moths, and other night-flying insects while in flight. It is estimated that an individual bat can eat 600 insects per hour — and many of these are insects that people regard as pests. So really, unless you love itchy mosquito bites, bats in your neighborhood are a good thing! 4) There are three species of vampire bats, and they live in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America. Vampires are small bats that drink blood from cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. Those cows, goats, pigs, and chickens reportedly do not then transform into vampire barn animals. 5) The two most common bats found in Massachusetts are the little brown bat and — wait for it — yes, you guessed it, the big brown bat. Both roost in attics, barns, and other hot, dark places.The most common species in rural areas is the little brown bat. During the spring and summer females of this species form colonies consisting of hundreds of individuals. Big brown bats, which prefer the more urban areas inside Route 495, are usually found in colonies of less than two hundred bats. Bonus Bat Fact: Four out of five female vampire bats think Robert Pattinson is hunky. The fifth bat is always on Team Jacob. Go figure.   Bat fact sources: Organization for Bat Conservation and Mass Audubon. Except for Bonus Bat Fact, which can not be confirmed at this...

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Close encounter of the furry kind

Posted by on 12:42 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mike, Downes Pest & Wildlife’s owner and technician, was sprawled across a Hopkinton rooftop when he got an unusual visitor. The customer was complaining of noises inside the top floor and after checking out the roof, Mike discovered several holes that he determined were perfect for flying squirrels. We offered the use of a one-way door, which allows creatures like flying squirrels and gray squirrels to leave, but they can’t get back inside. Once all the animals are evacuated, we remove the one-way door and close up the hole once and for all. It’s a solution that’s not only effective but humane. Our customer agreed and Mike headed up to the roof to install the door. The roof was only two stories up and didn’t have much of an incline, but he had to kind of drape himself over the shingles to get a good angle on the door he was installing. Then something soft and furry landed on his leg! Mike turned his head and the flying squirrel regarded him with big huge eyes. Flying squirrels are noisy and bothersome if they get in your house, but seriously cute. Mike froze, and the little flying squirrel froze also, probably trying to work out why the heck some dude was closing up his front door. They stayed that way about 15 seconds. Then the squirrel scooted off his leg and to the edge of the roof, and took...

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Welcome to the Downes Pest & Wildlife Blog!

Posted by on 12:38 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome! Our blog is just making its debut in the world. We get a lot of questions and hear a lot of concerns from customers about the pests and wildlife that have managed to get inside their home. Sometimes, customers are just really curious. “Really? A mouse can fit into a hole that’s the width of a pencil?” Sometimes, customers are terrified. “Get that spider out of my bedroom. I am serious. I will not go into that room until it is totally and completely gone.” In this industry, we have found that curiosity can be satisfied and fear can be soothed with some good knowledge, and we plan to provide that. We understand that it’s no fun to have your home, your sanctuary, invaded by pests; and it’s a terrible and costly inconvenience when a pest is spotted on your business property. Whether you are a past, current, or future customer, or whether you just like learning new things about the natural world around us in Massachusetts, we hope Downes Pest & Wildlife is your go-to source for all things furry, fuzzy, winged, and...

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