Keeping Pantry Pests Away

Keeping Pantry Pests Away

In recent times, we are finding ourselves spending more time at home and stocking up on supplies such as food, toiletries, and more. But as you stock up on these essentials, you could be providing stored product pests or “pantry pests” with a supply of their own. Here are a few tips to keep your kitchen free of these unwelcome guests:

  • Before you start adding any new grocery items, be sure to check existing open items in your pantry for signs of pantry pests to avoid spreading infestation.
  • Throw out any dry goods that have been left open and have gone bad. If they’re still in good condition, try and use the oldest items first before opening up the new ones.
  • Pantry pests, like Indian Meal Moths are attracted to items such as flour, oats, spices, and dry cereal. If you recently bought these items, be sure to inspect packages and confirm that they are all sealed properly. Once you open these items, look to store them in a plastic or glass container with secure lids, cutting off any access for pantry pests.
  • Rodentscan cause major health issues for you and your family. They are known to spread bacteria and viruses and, if their droppings build up within your cabinets, it can cause the air you breathe to become contaminated. To avoid a rodent infestation, try and keep your cabinets, pantries, and counters clean and free of crumbs and dispose of all expired foods.

If you take these precautions, you can easily avoid pests from raiding your pantry for all your stored groceries!

Cockroaches: A Possible Allergy Trigger

Cockroaches: A Possible Allergy Trigger

As Springtime approaches, allergies are bound to follow. Many tend to blame the plant pollens for their sneezing and watery eyes. Although pollen can trigger your allergy symptoms, there could be another reason why your allergies are flaring up this Spring: Cockroach allergies.

Signs and Symptoms of a Roach Allergy

Cockroaches might not be the first reason you think of when you start to get allergies, surprisingly though, they can be the cause of your allergies and asthma. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology the saliva, feces, and shedding parts of cockroaches can trigger both asthma and allergies, acting like dust mites. The common symptoms of cockroach allergies can be coughing, sneezing, asthma attacks, nasal congestion, sinus and/or ear infection, itchy red or watery eyes, and skin rashes.

Preventing Roaches from Inside the Home:

In a survey conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the allergists surveyed believed that a pest-free home is the most important factor in preventing asthma and allergy systems.

Knowing what attracts roaches can help you prevent a roach infestations. Here are some preventative tips to keep roaches out of your home:

  • Cover all trash cans
  • Store foods in airtight containers
  • Sweep up or vacuum all food crumbs
  • Seal cracks in walls and floors
  • Keep your yard neat and tidy
  • Call a pest control professional

Cockroaches can be one of the most difficult pests to eliminate. If you find yourself using the tips above but are still seeing roaches in your house, contact a pest control company. An exterminator will be able to identify where and how the roaches are entering your home and eliminate them to protect you and your family’s health.

Why Are Mosquitoes Inside My Home?

Why Are Mosquitoes Inside My Home?

Typically, when you’re swatting away mosquitoes, you’re most likely outside. But what if you notice these pesky bugs inside your home? Mosquitoes can be considered one of the most irritating pests during the warmer seasons. They’re usually found in areas of high humidity and survive by sucking blood from animals and humans. When you’re relaxing at home after a long day of work, the last thing you want to worry about is getting bit by one or several of these pests. Though, if you’re starting to see them inside your home, it’s probably time to start investigating.

Mosquitoes could easily sneak inside your home through broken screens or doors. Mosquitoes are extremely small, and if there’s a slightest gap open to enter your home, they will. Begin to inspect the screens, windows, and doors in your home. Make sure there aren’t any large gaps or tears that would allow any bugs to enter the home.

Mosquitoes are attracted to still and stagnant water. There’s a high chance of mosquito activity if your property is near standing water with a constant water source. Mosquitoes could easily enter your home and lay their eggs; female mosquitoes will lay eggs in water for survival.

House plants are also known to attract mosquitoes inside the house. If your house plant has a water tray, mosquitoes will typically start to lay their eggs there while also feeding off the plant to get energy. Clean out your water trays periodically to prevent mosquitoes from laying more eggs.

One factor that not all homeowners will think about is a possible plumbing problem attracting mosquitoes. Simple leaks with small pools of water will certainly attract these pests. Mosquitoes are not only attracted to just areas of moisture, they can also be found in shaded, covered areas. Make sure to check crawl spaces, basements, and other areas where a pipe could leak.

Finally, if you’ve inspected all these possible factors and are still being infested with mosquitoes or want to put in place a mosquito prevention plan, call a local pest control company where they can investigate the problem and create a mosquito reduction program designed for your home.

Getting Ready for Spring Lawn Care

Getting Ready for Spring Lawn Care

As winter comes to an end, we look forward to warmer, sunny weather! You might start to catch yourself outside more often, relaxing on your lawn with family. But before we can completely relax, your yard could still be recovering from the winter weather and may need some spring lawn care. Here are some quick tips on what you can do to ensure a healthy lawn throughout the Spring and Summer seasons.

CLEAN UP

Leaves, debris, spare logs, and even lawn furniture can cause your grass to suffocate and create matted patches. If left out, these items lead to disease and even invite pests into your yard. Also consider cleaning up silt, fine sand or clay, which can be left behind on your lawn after a flood or heavy rains. You can remove silt and debris by either raking it or washing it with a hose.

OBSERVE THE SOIL

Take a good hard look around your yard. Do you see the presence of moss or algae? This could be from water moisture from heavy rains, flooding, and/or compacted soil. You can rake away the moss and algae, but you will most likely need professional treatment to further help. A professional can perform lawn aeration to help your lawn grass grow by improving soil drainage.

FEED THE GRASS

You may also see bare, yellow patches on your lawn. These could be due to several factors: heavy traffic, nutrient deficiencies, lawn pests, neglect, or more. To get your grass back to that beautiful vibrant green color, consider fertilization. Fertilization can help replenish nutrients and start recovering healthy roots.

Overwhelmed with all the steps necessary to get your lawn ready for Spring? Contact your local lawn care company to provide you with a lawn care analysis.

4 Ways To Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard

4 Ways To Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard

If you live in an area where snakes are common, chances are you may stumble across one at some point. Snakes, like any other pest, are usually in search of three things: food, water, and shelter. Oftentimes the area around our homes provide all of these things that attract snakes. The likelihood of a snake on your property depends on several factors including location (north vs south), landscape (urban vs rural), a nearby water source (pond, lake, river), how well your lawn is landscaped and maintained, and how readily a food supply is available. When dealing with snakes it is important to identify the type of snake you are dealing with: venomous snakes should be left to a professional to eliminate while non-venomous snakes can often be deterred with natural snake repellent techniques. Here are 4 ways to keep snakes out of your yard:

1. Scare Them Off

One of the easiest ways to scare off a snake from your yard is to use your garden hose. Spray with snake with a steady stream from the hose until he slithers off. Consider installing a perch pole for hawks, owls, and other natural snake predators to alight on. Be sure to place it in an open area so the birds have a good view of your yard and the surrounding area.

2. Repel Them Away

There are some natural products and at home techniques you can use for snake prevention. Ammonia is a common snake repellent. Snakes hate the smell of ammonia and won’t come near it. Soak rags in ammonia and place them in unsealed plastic bags. Leave the bags where you usually see snakes to keep them away. You can also use vinegar to keep snakes and other pests out of your swimming pool. Pour white vinegar around the perimeter of the pool. Snakes can absorb the vinegar through their skin so they will avoid slithering over it once it’s poured on the ground. Snakes also try to avoid humans at all costs. Save hair from your hairbrush and scatter it around the perimeter of your property to help keep snakes away.

3. Don’t Invite Them In

Snakes will come into your yard in search of food, water, and shelter. Eliminating these three basic necessities will make them much less likely to pay you a visit. Mow your grass often and keep it cut short. Shorter grass means more exposure to predators like hawks and coyotes and also makes them much easier for you to spot. Avoid overwatering your lawn as this can attract snake food sources like frogs, worms, and slugs. Keep trees, shrubs, and branches trimmed away from the sides of your house, the roof, and the ground. Try to keep a 24 to 36 inch space cleared under trees and shrubs as this reduces the chance of snakes using them for cover and makes them easier to spot. Move bird feeders away from the house or get rid of them altogether. Birds often leave seed scattered underneath which attracts rodents that, in turn, attract snakes. Keep bird seed and pet food stored in metal cans with tight fitting lids. Make sure your woodpile is kept away from the home and elevated if possible. When designing your landscaping, try not to use mulch or large rocks as these create breeding grounds and overwintering habitats for snakes. Instead, try to use smaller, tight-fitting rock like gravel or river rock. Also try to avoid using water features and Koi ponds as the water can also attract snakes.

4. Lock Them Out

Snakes can be very persistent pests and keeping them out can be difficult. Carefully inspect the outside of your home and seal any cracks or crevices you find on the house, sidewalk, and foundations. Consider installing fencing around your yard, garden, or pool. Fencing should be buried a few inches into the ground and constructed using 1/4″ rigid mesh or solid sheeting. Fencing should also include a bend at the top to prevent snakes from climbing up and over. There are some companies who even make wildlife-specific fencing.

The best way to prevent snakes is to take steps to keep them out in the first place. Dealing with snakes can be dangerous depending on the type of snake you have. If you have a snake problem, contact animal control or a professional wildlife control company who can help safely trap, relocate, or remove the nuisance snake from your home.

 

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Where Are These Stinkbugs Coming From?

Where Are These Stinkbugs Coming From?

As the weather warms up overwintering pests will begin to wake up and make their way outdoors. One of these is the brown marmorated stinkbug. While these household pests don’t sting, bite, or carry any diseases, they can become a nuisance when they get inside your home. In fact, once you see stinkbugs inside, it’s usually too late to do anything to keep them out.

The brown marmorated stinkbug is native to Asia but was later introduced in the United States. They prefer moist, temperate climates like those of the Eastern US and the Pacific Northwest. Stinkbugs feed on soybeans, corn, fruit, vegetables, and ornamental plants that grow close to homes. Stinkbugs spend the spring and summer seasons outdoors then will seek shelter from the winter elements indoors – often entering your home through cracks, crevices, gaps or holes in your foundation, through chimneys, air conditioning vents, or underneath siding. The prefer homes with lots of trees around and will gravitate to the upper floors of a home.

During the winter months, stinkbugs go into a phase known as diapause, which is similar to hibernation, where the bugs go inactive during the cold weather. When the stinkbugs find a spot to overwinter, they release a pheromone that attracts other stinkbugs to their location. While they typically stay dormant until spring, unusually warm spells during the winter can bring them out full force.

If you encounter stinkbugs in your home, the best way to get rid of them is to vacuum them up and immediately dispose of the bag. When stinkbugs are threatened, disturbed, or squashed, they emit a smell that has been described as anything from cilantro to rotting almonds to spoiled fruit.

The best way to control stinkbugs is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. Here are 9 prevention tips for keeping stinkbugs out.

  1. Seal Them Out. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home to identify potential entry points for stinkbugs. Check around siding and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and under fascia. Seal any problem spots with silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Close chimney flues when not in use.
  2. Repair. Check doors and windows for any damage. Repair or replace damaged screens. Check weatherstripping and replace if necessary. Check for loose mortar. Install door sweeps if possible.
  3. Turn Off Lights. Stinkbugs are attracted to light. Try to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum. After dark, turn porch lights off and pull down blinds in your home to reduce the amount of light spilling out from indoors.
  4. Keep It Dry. Stinkbugs, like other seasonal pests, need water to survive. Check carefully for leaking pipes and faucets and repair them immediately.
  5. Get Rid of Food. Keep food stored in airtight containers. Dispose of your garbage regularly. Wipe down countertops daily and sweep and mop often.
  6. Air It Out. Keep areas that stinkbugs can use as a harborage point (garages, crawlspaces, attics, and basements) well ventilated. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas. Install screens over chimney and attic vents.
  7. Check It Out. Stinkbugs can hitch a ride into your home in boxes and bags. Carefully inspect any boxes you are bringing in from storage and any grocery bags before you bring them into your home.
  8. Landscaping. Keep branches and shrubbery well trimmed so they are not in contact with the house. Keep grass mowed and leaves raked. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and at least 5 inches off the ground.
  9. Call A Pro. If you suspect you have a problem with stinkbugs, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify any entry points the bugs may be using and help to eliminate them. They can also use a preventative spray in the late summer/early fall to help keep them out before overwintering season sets in.

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

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How Do You Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring?

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Keeping Wildlife Out This Spring

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