Pest Control & Exterminator Services in Hudson, MA
SERVING MIDDLESEX COUNTY SINCE 1984
Colonial Pest control has been helping home and business owners in Hudson, MA deal with pests for decades. This beautiful and historic town offers forested land, vegetative cover, and wet areas that are ideal for pests. We help homeowners deal with rats, mice, wasps, ants, and other pests in Hudson. Need help with an infestation today? Want to set up preventative maintenance for your home or business? Then, contact us today.
Pest Control in Hudson, MA (Podcast)
Zack Ciras, Quality Manager from Colonial Pest Control talks about the unique pest control challenges in Hudson, MA. He explains how the architectural styles and environment affect pest populations in this area. Then, he gives tips about pest control in Hudson.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Zack Ciras, quality manager with Colonial Pest Control. Today our topic is pest control in Hudson, Massachusetts. Welcome Zack.
Zack Ciras: Thanks John.
Overview of Pests and Conditions in Hudson, MA
John: Yeah. So Zack, are there any general things about pest control in Hudson, Massachusetts that you’ve noticed as you’ve worked there throughout the years?
Zack: Yeah, Hudson’s a quiet town. Good size population, but it’s just a little bit outside the city, kind of in between Worcester and Boston. So you have a lot of folks going back and forth to the city, but you still have a lot of that country vibe. It’s an old town, very old town. A lot of the early settlers ended up in the Hudson area. There’s some water nearby. There’s a lot of vegetation, a lot of forestry there and a good amount of history.
Homes in Hudson
So this is one of those towns that has a good mix between the old houses. I think one of the oldest houses there is still 1600s, late 1600s, and you have a lot of old factory buildings. The old brickworks are reflected in people who used to work in the factories and their brick homes and fieldstone foundations, which are always a little bit of an issue with the fieldstone foundations. But then you do have a lot more of the wood framed, vinyl siding, modern houses as well. So there’s a really good mix there.
Rodents in Hudson
So the pest options are also a good mix. The older the foundation, the more likely you have some rodent entry, some rat and some mice. Rats and mice, especially rats in the last few years have been on the upswing. The mice have been climbing up in population for, oh geez, a decade or two now, but we’ve really been seeing a lot of rats. Whenever you’re in an area that has a lot of woods, and a lot of nature, and a lot of rivers, a lot of people think of rats as just being mice. But those nice quiet towns with the rivers, and the streams and the woods, those are rat central as well these days.
Why Rats Moved Out of Cities and Into Suburbs
Thinking back in 2019, 2020 when a lot of restaurants in this city shut down, you had a lot of movement away from the cities with rodent populations. The rodents are used to eating from the dumpsters and the trash cans in the street. Every place that people would normally congregate they would leave lots of food around for the rodents. But when people aren’t going out to dinner, the restaurant shutdown and that means the dumpster behind the restaurant was also shut down, which means you don’t have the rodents feeding as readily on that type of food.
So they do what a lot of city populations do, spread out to the suburbs. See what’s out in the suburbs and build your life out there. We saw a migration. It was pretty notable, pretty quick. A lot of the cities across the country, especially the Eastern seaboard saw the same phenomenon where the rodents were going out into the suburbs from the cities and they’ve stayed there and they found lots of resources, especially with so many of us now able to work at least part-time from home.
How Rats Survive in Hudson and Other Suburbs
People like to see the birds feeding, people like to see the squirrels playing. So they feed them. They feed them bird seed, and nuts and acorns, and they’re growing their own gardens, and planting their fruit and nut trees. There’s so many rich resources that are beyond the dumpster behind the restaurant.
Now there’s just your vegetable garden. Down not in Hudson, but in Worcester Mass, near the corporate office, we have one customer every two, three years they really try to go for their vegetable garden again. They plant their tomatoes and they’re squash. Every time they try, if they’re not fortified around the outside with some good screening, some good mesh fencing, the rats get in. You wouldn’t imagine it for this house, but they’re just building a garden and the population’s high enough, always looking for resources and the rodents will find the garden.
So in a town like Hudson, when you have a lot of people who used to have to commute to Worcester or Boston, or Framingham to go to the office, not only is the restaurant closed, the office is closed. Your home is now everywhere. So bird feeders are a huge, huge part of people who live in nature like to watch the birds, but it’s a huge part of driving rodents near the house. If you have rats and mice near the house, and you think of rodents, the term rodent means to gnaw, they’re going to start gnawing. They’re going to start scratching.
Especially the older homes in Hudson, they’re going to find those barn boards. They’re going to find the loose door. They’re going to find the earthen floors instead of a slab floor for the garage, or the barn or the basement, and they’re going to find their way in.
Factors Supporting Rodents in Hudson
John: You mentioned that the rat and mice populations have really increased in recent years. Is it really because of that sort of urban sprawl where people are really starting to go more outside of the cities and the rats and mice are just able to multiply and to spread outside of the cities? Whereas before they might not have really found a food source very far outside of the city.
Zack: It’s multifactorial. So I think there’s a lot of things going on with that. That definitely seems to be a driving factor. When you correlate that to what’s actually happened historically in the last few years and you see that spike outside of the city, it’s undeniable at times to see where the trends are heading. But the rats, people call them Norway rats, or sewer rats, or ship rats, or wood rats, or brown rats, or gray rats, or city rats, whatever name you want to give to the Norway rat, it’s hyper resourceful.
Originally they think it came from Central Plains Asia. Was introduced across the world. I think it’s absolutely everywhere in the world right now via trade ships and migration. Really trade was the driving factor. Wherever they go they say this is right for us. Whether it’s downtown city Boston and they can go to the sewers and get lots of water, they can go to the restaurants in the streets and get plenty of food off the streets.
Or it’s in Hudson where there’s bird feeders, and gardens, and trees and streams and things like that. There’s a big population now, they’re trying to get rid of them in a country called New Zealand. New Zealand has a lot of very sensitive birds, and lizards and other animals that were not evolved to handle things like rats. Rats in New Zealand are devastating. You think of the Dodo bird and these other rare birds that nest on the ground and lay their eggs on the ground rather than in a tree where they’re a little bit more protected. The rats are going to find that and the rats are very resourceful.
So bird seed in Hudson, you’re going to have rat activity because once they’re introduced, they’re really good at populating. So you have to be very vigilant about what you’re doing to prevent them from being comfortable in your backyard and then from being comfortable inside your house too.
Wasps in Hudson, MA
John: Right, absolutely. So do you have some examples of some pest control services in Hudson Mass that you’ve performed?
Zack: Yeah. So beyond the rat and mouse infestations in Hudson, which you can kind of think of any Old mill town with factories, and Fieldstone foundations or any kind of foundation with construction, especially during a boom with openings for things to get in with rats and mice. A lot of access is a problem as well as the resources that’s driving them.
When I think of Hudson, I’m thinking of some wasps actually. There was one house I was thinking of, beautiful up on a little hill in the woods, little pool in the back, little patio and they had a call about yellow jackets. Yellow jacket nest come July 1st and then two weeks into July it really picks up and it just keeps on building up steam through the end of October, whenever there’s some really good frost there’s a lot of wasp activity.
They had found some yellow jackets nesting on the side of the house and they have a hot tub in the back on the patio. It wasn’t a big issue at that point. So they thought they’d take care of it themselves. They sprayed the nest and broke it up and it seemed to help for a bit, but they weren’t very thorough about the wasp treatment inside the nest and getting all the reproductives. The next brood coming out, there wasn’t any residual left behind with their store brand materials.
So that yellow jacket nest decided to just move over 10, 15 feet on another part of the house and build another nest there. That in itself is not too odd. By the time I got there, the yellow jackets were actually taken over by bald-faced hornets.
Bald-faced hornets, also known as white faced hornets, technically they’re a type of large yellow jacket. They have distinct whiteish markings on their face. Really if you want a picture of a scary wasp on the front of your website, you want a bald-faced hornet looking at you square in the eye. It’s really cool looking, but they’re larger than a typical yellow jacket. They’re a lot more protective, lot more aggressive. They seem to think that their area is larger than it is.
You have the little paper wasp with the dangly legs and the skinny waist. If you’re right on top of them, you’re jumping on where they’re nesting next to the pool or you’re wrapping your hand around that railing and you’re near enough the nest, they’ll feel protective and feel like they need to protect themselves.
Behavioral Differences of Different Types of Wasps
When you get into yellow jackets, yellow jackets are even more social than a paper wasp. But paper wasp nest, there’s a lot of females that can go and start their own nest and that’s not a big deal. If you destroy the nest, they’ll just go build a new one. They’re not large nests. They’re semi-social. They’re not super social for their nesting behavior, but for yellow jackets, they’re very social. The more social an animal is typically the more protective it is, the more potentially aggressive it is.
So you take that and their area might be half your backyard. They’re thinking you’re messing around half of your backyard. You’re mowing the lawn and I don’t like the vibration on the ground. I’m going to come out and let you know. You take that idea and then move it to bald-faced hornets and the bald-faced hornets even think they own the whole yard. Not just the half the yard, they’re going to own the whole yard. If you’re in the area and you’re wearing the wrong hair gel, or you’re making the wrong noise near them, you’re getting too close to their flight pattern, they’re going to go out of their way and often they’ll team up. So if you bump into a bald-faced hornet nest, you might not just get one sting. You’ll get five or six and they’ll really follow you back.
I’ve had some circumstances where you’re treating a nest and maybe you’re spraying from the ground, or you’re using a pole to reach where the nest is and they’ll follow that pole or that stream of liquid down back to you. I’ve had some follow me back to the truck. So I take off my bee suit, my protective bee suit and there’s one waiting for me. Just waiting until I was unprotected.
Bald-Faced Hornets Enslaving Yellow Jacket Drones
So this house in Hudson, they had the yellow jackets, they moved the nest, they were rebuilding. So I think they maybe were a little bit stressed. bald-faced hornets came in, actually took over that nest. The bald-faced hornets will use the drones of the yellow jackets as slaves. Then the yellow jackets built another smaller nest lower down in elevation. So you had yellow jackets trying to build their own nest, trying to recuperate. Meanwhile, half their population was being used as drones for the bald-faced hornets who took over their own nest.
Some people might not notice it, but you rip open a nest that you’ve treated and you removed it and you might see bald-faced hornets and yellow jackets cohabitating. The insect world’s a brutal world. The yellow jackets are fierce on their own, but bald-faced hornets, they’ll actually take over the yellow jackets and use them to gather the food that they need and build out their colony.
Don’t Let Pests Stop You From Enjoying Your Home
John: Like you said, that just makes it really hard to even use the outside of your house. Everybody wants to be able to be in their backyard and be able to have a picnic or sit outside and whatever. So having those types of bald-faced hornets, especially, or even just yellow jackets nesting near your house, that makes it really hard to use the outside of your house. So you really want to get rid of those.
Zack: Similar to rats and mice. People like to enjoy things, but those populations start to build upon themselves and you have more rats, which begets more rats and more mice that begets more mice. Each bald-faced hornet or yellow jacket nest, even if you target them, you’re not going to necessarily destroy them with your over the counter stuff, unless you have a good residual left behind. Those populations build up and up and up.
But luckily Hudson’s downtown is thriving again. They seem to be recovering well. They have cool restaurants, storefront breweries with micro brews, little restaurants, musicians. I used to play music and back in the day, we would always hit Hudson. Hudson was a really nice scene. People were interested in a lot of different things.
Last time I was there, there was a piano on the street and it was of course, late night and we had our dinner and a couple beverages and stopped off at the piano. It’s a really cool downtown. You can stop and play a piano for 10 minutes and carry on with your night in Hudson.
Solutions for Wasp Control in Hudson, MA
John: So what did you end up doing with this house that had the yellow jackets and bald-faced hornets to sort get rid of them and maybe try to make it so that they don’t come back?
Zack: Yeah, so the bald-faced hornets were the biggest aggressor. Targeted them first, removed the nest, left the residual behind on the house where they were nesting with a little bit of paper left behind. So when they see that there’s a paper that’s still their scent, they’re going to go to try to rebuild their nest. The fact that we left the residual behind as they come to try to rebuild their nest, they contact the residual chemical, which is a longer lasting, slower acting kind of a part of the program. So we can eliminate them as they’re trying to rebuild. We targeted the yellow jacket nest, removed that as well.
That was actually one of the panels of the hot tub was hanging off. So I grabbed a couple of screws and talked to the customer. Do you mind if I just tighten that up so they don’t get in there again? They were good with that. We ended up treating the whole house, the whole exterior of the house to try to prevent new ones from nesting. Knowing that the homeowner had already moved one colony, one nest, we didn’t want to have to have them deal with that again. So we did a good preventive treatment around the whole outside of the house.
Contact Colonial Pest for Help in Hudson, MA
John: All right. Well that’s really great information, Zack. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Zack: Thanks so much, John.
John: For more information, you can visit the Colonial Pest Control website at colonialpest.com or call 1-800-525-8084. That’s 1-800-525-8084.