How to Deal With Moles This Winter

How to Deal With Moles This Winter

A very common misconception is that moles hibernate during the winter. This is, in fact, not true. Moles do not hibernate and are quite active during the winter months. They actually remain active all winter long, continuing to dig and eat voraciously. Moles are omnivores that prefer to feast on grubs, earthworms, and other bugs. As the soil freezes, moles move from tunneling near the surface to digging deeper in the ground. When the weather starts to warm, the moles will tunnel closer and closer to the surface as the soil thaws and becomes easier to navigate.

Moles can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. Moles cause dead grass patches because their tunneling disrupts the root system of grass. This creates patches that often start out yellow and eventually turn a light tan color. They also push soil and grass up as they dig, creating random mole hills across your yard. While these are easy to spot in the summertime, they can often go undetected in the winter months, giving you less opportunity to identify and eliminate them early. Because of this, it is important to take precautionary measures early before the winter season sets in. Here are some steps you can take for mole prevention this winter.

Keep It Dry

Overuse of sprinklers and irrigation systems can lead to saturated, loose soil – an ideal environment for moles. This loose soil is much easier to tunnel through and is often rich with earthworms and grubs, making it a literal feast for moles. Heavy rainfall can also create these conditions so it is important to be vigilant after storms. Limit watering unless necessary.

Lay Mulch Later

Mulch is a very effective insulator for plants during cold weather. While we are usually inclined to go ahead and mulch before the cold weather sets in, this creates an insulated environment for moles, as well as your plants. Instead of installing mulch in early fall, try to wait until after the first frost. Hopefully by that point, moles and other pests have established themselves in a more hospitable environment than in your yard.

Install Barriers

Physical barriers can be very effective at preventing more damage to flowerbeds and trees. These barriers can be in the form of hardware cloth liners in the bottom and sides of flowerbeds or across the top of the bed to prevent digging or wrapped around the base of trees. By preventing them from digging you can limit the damage inflicted and hopefully encourage them to move on to another yard.

Utilize Natural Predators

Cats, snakes, and birds of prey are the most common natural predators of moles. Cats are especially notorious for pest prevention and rodent control around properties. If you don’t already have a cat, you may consider adopting one to roam your property and provide you with free pest control. Although it may be difficult, reconsider killing that snake you find on your property as they are also excellent at controlling rodent and other pest populations.

Eliminate Food Sources

As mentioned above, moles prefer to feed on earthworms, grubs, and other insects. In fact, mole problems often arise because of underlying grub problems. Be proactive in eliminating grubs and other pests from your yard to help control mole populations, as well.

Call A Professional

The cliche of “making a mountain out of a mole hill” isn’t far from the truth. Mole problems can manifest quickly into mole infestations and they can be extremely difficult to control and eliminate. Consider contacting a professional pest control company and setting up ongoing pest control services as these scheduled visits can help identify mole problems early and help resolve your mole issue quickly.

 

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Deck the Halls Without Pests

Deck the Halls Without Pests

You’ve managed to fight all the early holiday decorating urges and now it’s time! Before you rush off to start decking the tree and hanging the mistletoe, follow these tips to make sure pests aren’t spending the holidays indoors with you and yours.

Check Your Tree Before Bringing It Home

  • Pests like spiders, mites, moths, squirrels, and many others have been known to make trees and wreaths their temporary home. Before bringing these items in your home, inspect for overwintering pests and thoroughly shake them to free any pests residing inside.

Even Your Old Decorations Aren’t Safe

  • Although your decorations have been stored away throughout the year, pests flock to attics, basements, and garages. They will crawl into the storage boxes you have put away. When unpacking these boxes, inspect them before bringing them into the main living areas.

Keep Warm Without Pests

  • The sudden cold weather may signal the need to utilize your fireplace and snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa. Use caution when bringing firewood indoors, as pests such as spiders, termites, and ants can tag along. Inspect all firewood thoroughly before bringing it indoors and store firewood on a raised platform at least 20 feet from your home.

The holidays really are best enjoyed pest-free. If you find yourself dealing with uninvited holiday guests, call your licensed pest control company to schedule an inspection.

5 Reasons To Be Thankful for Pest Control

5 Reasons To Be Thankful for Pest Control

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for. Many people are thankful for life, health, family, and friends. Whatever you are thankful for this season, pest control probably isn’t very high on the list. What you may not realize is that there are several very important reasons to be thankful for this service. Here are five reasons to be thankful for pest control this holiday season.

Cost Savings

Routine pest control provides scheduled service throughout the year. This allows your service technician the opportunity to provide ongoing treatment for existing issues and regular inspections to help catch new problems early, before they manifest to serious infestations. This helps shift the focus of your pest control service from treatment to prevention, helping to save you from costly treatments and repairs in the future.

Improved Health

Routine pest control provides many opportunities to improve the health of both your family and your home. Pests offer a wide range of hazards to your family’s health and safety. Venomous spiders and ants can cause painful bites; rodents and other wildlife can leave droppings that can contaminate your food and household surfaces; cockroaches can exacerbate allergies and asthma. Routine pest control can help eliminate all of these threats, as well as provide you with stress and anxiety relief knowing that your home is protected.

Protecting the Value/Integrity of Your Home

Pests can cause serious damage to the structure of your home, decreasing its value and costing significant amounts of money in repairs and treatments. Rodents and other wildlife can chew through walls, wires, drywall, and even roofs, damaging them and increasing the risk of fires. Termites can eat through wood undetected for years before their damage is realized. Rodents and roaches can contaminate food, costing you money by having to throw it out and replace it. A routine pest control program can help catch these pest issues early and keep them from getting out of control.

Eco-Friendly Options

Pest control used to mean harsh chemicals that were dangerous for your small children or pets. Nowadays there are green pest control options that are eco-friendly and safe for use anywhere in and around your home while still remaining effective against pests. The active ingredients in a green pest control service are derived from flowers, plants, and other natural elements from the earth and are safe for both children and pets.

Service Guarantee

Most pest control programs offer a service guarantee. Routine pest control visits are scheduled so that problems can be identified and remedied at that time. The service guarantee allows the technician to come back in between scheduled visits for any issues that arise at no additional cost to you.

As you can see, there are many reasons to be thankful for pest control. If you suspect you have a pest problem or you want to stay ahead of the pests before they take over, contact a professional pest control company who can thoroughly evaluate your home and provide you with the treatment and prevention options needed to make you thankful this season.

 

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Late Fall Pests

Cooler weather is finally here! Time for sweaters, boots, and cozy nights inside. While you and your family are spending more time inside, pests are looking to wait out the cold in your home as well. Here are a few tips you can use now before you end up with overwintering pests that overstay their welcome.

  1. Before unboxing decorations from the garage or attic, inspect the boxes thoroughly. Pests may have taken up residence inside and look to use these storage materials as an entry point into your home.
  2. Be sure to store any firewood at least 20 feet away from the exterior of your home. The firewood can act as a hiding place for pests. By moving the wood away from your home, it will reduce incident of invasions.
  3. Kitchens are huge entry points for pests. Keep counters free of crumbs and spills, utilize airtight containers to store open food, and use lids on garbage cans.
  4. Look to screen vents and chimneys, seal cracks and crevices, install door sweeps, and replace weather-stripping to cut down on pests looking to make your home their winter hideout.

With these tips you will hopefully be able to enjoy your holidays pest free. If you have an issue with pest invasions, reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection.

Cold Weather Sends Roaches Indoors: 5 Tips to Prevent Them This Winter

Cold Weather Sends Roaches Indoors: 5 Tips to Prevent Them This Winter

Winter can be a difficult time for cockroaches. While they are adapted to thrive in warm temperatures, these cold-blooded pests cannot survive environments that are too hot or too cold. In fact, some species stop growing and reproducing when exposed to colder temperatures, usually consistently below 45 degrees, for extended periods of time. As temperatures drop, roaches will seek out shelter in warm places, most often in our homes and offices. These buildings provide them with everything they need to survive the winter – warmth, access to water, and an abundant supply of food.

Prevention is key when it comes to roaches. Here are 5 tips to prevent cockroaches from taking over your home this winter.

1. Clean Thoroughly.

Roaches are attracted to dirt and crumbs as a source of food Make sure to always wash dishes after a meal and put them away. Clean up any crumbs and spills immediately. Take out the garbage before going to bed. Clean any grease from your stovetop. Keep food sealed in airtight containers. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food, treats, and water out overnight.

2. Declutter

Clearing out clutter gets rid of places roaches can use to hide. Keep rooms clutter free and dusted often. Use plastic storage bins with lockable lids versus cardboard boxes. Eliminate newspapers and cardboard altogether as roaches love to breed in these materials.

3. Seal It Up

Roaches get into homes under doors and through cracks. Identifying these and sealing them up helps eliminate points of entry for cockroaches and other pests. Thoroughly inspect around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, in attics and crawlspace vents, and around holes used for utility and plumbing lines. For small holes and cracks, use caulk to seal them. For larger holes, especially around pipes, use steel wool and foam to seal. Fine mesh wire can be used to seal around attic vents and chimneys.

4. Fix Leaks

Roaches, like most pests, need water and moisture to survive. Therefore, standing water or excessive moisture can attract roaches to your home. Regularly inspect your plumbing for leaks and repair them immediately. Make sure to check faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and appliances for leaks and excessive moisture. Crawlspaces are also a common source of excess moisture in homes. Consider crawlspace enclosure to help minimize moisture under your home.

5. Call A Pro

A cockroach infestation can be extremely difficult to control. Prevention can only go so far in the battle against roaches. If you suspect you have a problem with cockroaches, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of roach you have, thoroughly inspect your home to identify points of entry or food sources, and help set you up with a comprehensive roach control treatment and prevention plan.

 

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The Myth of the Grandaddy Long Legs

The Myth of the Grandaddy Long Legs

According to popular belief, the granddaddy long leg is the most poisonous spider in the world. While the origins of this myth are unknown, we do know one thing for certain: granddaddy long legs are not spiders and they aren’t poisonous (or venomous for that matter).

Granddaddy long legs, also known as harvestmen, are often mistaken for spiders because of their spider-like appearance and movements. While they do have some spidery characteristics, they are not, in fact, spiders. They are classified as arachnids like spiders because of their 8 legs and movements similar to their spider cousins. Other arachnids that aren’t spiders include ticks, mites, and scorpions. Despite their appearance, granddaddy long legs are actually more like scorpions than spiders. Spiders have 8 eyes while granddaddy long legs only have 2. Spiders also have a distinct waist separating their thorax/head from their abdomen while granddaddy long legs have one fused cavity containing their head, thorax, and abdomen. Finally, spiders produce silk and spin webs. Granddaddy long legs do not produce silk so they can’t make webs.

Poisonous and venomous are often confused, especially when it comes to pests. Poisonous creatures cause harm through touching or ingesting. Venomous creatures cause harm through injection of venom. As far as humans are concerned, granddaddy long legs are neither poisonous or venomous.

Granddaddy long legs do have fang-like mouth parts (also known as chelicerae) that they use to grasp and chew food but they are not used to bite humans nor inject venom. These arachnids have developed some rather unique methods of defense from predators. First, they have a set of stink glands that they deploy to help ward off predators. They also have been known to curl up and play dead when disturbed. The most unique defense mechanism, however, is their ability to shed their legs when grabbed (also known as autotomy). Unfortunately, once they shed an appendage they are unable to grow it back.

Because they pose no threat to humans (and, in fact, feed on other smaller insects that may be in and around your home), you don’t necessarily need to get rid of them should you stumble across one. They prefer dark, moist environments and are often found in crawl spaces, basements, and garages. The best way to get rid of a granddaddy long leg is to sweep or vacuum it up.

Because what attracts granddaddy long legs are smaller pests they can prey on, seeing a large number of them in your home can indicate another pest control issue. If you suspect you have a pest problem, contact a professional pest control company who can help with pest and spider identification and the best course of treatment and future prevention.

 

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