During the wintertime, many homeowners worry less about pests that are common during the spring and summer months. Contrary to popular belief, however, some pests don’t just die off; instead they use their survival instincts to get through the winter. Here is a list of four common winter pests and what you can do to prevent them once the warmer weather arrives!
Seeing ants marching inside your home is typically uncommon during the winter months. Ants are still around, however, as they are great at overwintering and preparing for the cold! Ants prepare for the colder weather starting in the fall where they indulge in lots of food. This preparation technique helps them put on fat so they can survive for weeks at a time without eating. When winter finally arrives, their body temperature and activity will decrease. They will then seal up their colonies built deep in the soil or under rocks, where they will stay until springtime arrives!
Once the warmer weather hits, ants are full of energy and ready to invade your home in search of more food. To make sure these pests don’t come inside, seal all open gaps and holes, especially around areas where pipes and wires enter your home.
Bed bugs are active year-round, meaning they will invade your home whether it’s cold or warm outside. These pests are extremely resilient and can survive temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit! Because they can withstand these extreme temperatures, bed bug control can be difficult. Common signs of bed bugs include rusty, reddish-brown stains on bed sheets or mattresses, bites on exposed skin when sleeping, and eggs or egg casings.
After coming home from traveling, unpack your clothes and put them directly into your washing machine to clean. Always inspect your luggage for bed bugs and use a vacuum to clean it before storing it.
Most cockroaches can survive year-round if they have access to a warm and moist environment. Unfortunately, this means your home is the perfect place for these pests to inhabit. German cockroaches are one species that are known to survive harsh weather conditions. When cold hits, these roaches are great at sneaking indoors through small gaps and holes.
Cockroaches prefer to live in humid habitats, especially in residential kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. To ensure these pests don’t infest your home, make sure to clean up any spills or food crumbs, vacuum often, and use weatherstripping to seal doorways.
It’s inevitable to see mosquitoes out during the summer months; but it may be surprising to most that these pests don’t die off when winter hits. Mosquitoes will, instead, overwinter or hibernate in protected areas such as hollow logs. When the temperatures increase, female mosquitoes will awaken and seek out a blood source to feed on to begin developing eggs.
Preparing for mosquito activity before summer arrives is crucial in protecting your home and family. Confirm your home is mosquito-proofed by eliminating any standing water, debris from your gutters, and sealing any holes or gaps leading inside the home.
To prevent these pests from invading your home when spring and summer hit, consider contacting your local pest control company. A trained professional can then provide you with an inspection, prevention, and treatment plan.
Pest control starts at home. By establishing a good line of defense on the home front, you’re less likely to need to mount an offense against those pesky pest invaders. Prevention is key to keeping a small pest problem from becoming a full fledged pest invasion. Here is our guide to home pest control:
Step 1: Maintain Your Landscaping
The fewer pests you have outside your home means less of a chance they will make their way inside your home. Make your yard less hospitable for pests to reduce the likelihood they will move indoors. Keep tree branches and shrubbery trimmed back so they don’t touch your house. This helps eliminate “bridges” they can use to get inside. Mulch is also excellent for sheltering unwanted pests. Consider using a cover that is less attractive like rock. Clean out leaves and other debris from gutters or install gutter guards to help prevent standing water.
Step 2: Inspect the Outside
The best way to keep pests out is to find out how they can get in and eliminate these points of entry. Routinely inspect the entire exterior of your home for gaps, cracks, and crevices. Check foundations, loose siding, missing shingles, and gaps around utility lines (especially pipes, wiring, and cable). Seal any openings you find with either copper mesh, steel wool, sheet metal or mortar. Try not to use expanding caulk because some pests can still chew through this (think rodents!). Keep an eye out for signs of termites including mud tubes, damaged wood, or cracked and bubbling paint. Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles. Replace weather stripping and make sure to repair loose mortar. Use screens on windows, attic vents, and chimney openings.
Step 3: Choose the Right Lightbulbs
Bugs tend to be more attracted to standard mercury vapor lightbulbs. Consider replacing your standard lightbulbs with high pressure sodium vapor or halogen bulbs instead. What the bulbs are made of aren’t the only thing you should consider. Check the color of the lightbulbs, as well. Bulbs with pink, yellow, and orange tints are less attractive to pests.
Step 4: Take Out the Garbage
Garbage attracts pests like rodents, roaches, and even ants. These pests are also attracted to yard waste which can provide them with both a source of food and a nesting site. Use garbage and recycling cans with tight-fitting lids. Make sure to clean both the garbage cans and the area where they sit on a regular basis. Clean up any spills and leftover debris that these pests can feed on. Keep your deck, patio, garage, and yard clear of leaf litter, clippings, and standing water. Rinse all the food off anything you are recycling before putting them in the bin. Store your cans outside whenever possible.
Step 5: Check the Interior
Inspections shouldn’t be limited to outside the home. The interior needs to be inspected regularly, as well. While inspecting, make sure to look under, inside, and behind cabinets, the refrigerator, and the stove for signs of household pests. Look for gaps around pipes, vents, and cables and in the trim. If you find any gaps, seal them up, especially if they are 1/4″ in size or bigger. Check for moisture under sinks and repair leaky pipes, Use a dehumidifier in crawlspaces, attics, and basements.
Step 6: Empty the Drains
Drains in the sink, tub, shower, and floor can hold moisture and accumulate debris and gunk. This not only attracts pests but also provides them with the ideal environment to breed in. Inspect and clean all your drains on a regular basis, including those in the laundry room and basement.
Step 7: Establish a Cleaning Routine
Establishing a regular cleaning routine helps keep your home clean, making it less attractive to pests. Keep food stored in containers with tight fitting lids or resealable bags. Never leave open food out overnight. Keep the pantry cleaned out regularly to get rid of spoiled food and other items. These steps will help eliminate pantry pests. Wipe down countertops daily and keep ripe fruit in the fridge. Wash dishes or load the dishwasher nightly and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Sweep, vacuum, and mop on a regular basis, as well. This not only disturbs the areas that pests may frequent but also helps eliminate crumbs and debris that can serve as a food source.
Step 8: Remember Your Pets
Pets aren’t immune to pest problems. Not only can pests hitch a ride inside on your pets, but their food and water also serve as attractants. Keep your pet’s food and water bowls clean and clean up any spilled food and water immediately. Launder your pet’s bedding in hot water every week. Store pet food in a sealable container. Per your vet’s recommendations, use appropriate flea and tick prevention as needed.
A small pest problem can escalate quickly; but with this handy guide to home pest control, you can take the necessary steps to prevent a pest infestation. If your pest problem has gotten out of control or you want a little extra help from a pro, contact a professional pest control company for a complete inspection and treatment plan.
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The holidays are over and we can now welcome the New Year! Like many of us, we look forward to setting some New Year’s resolutions and goals! This year many of us will look forward to saving more money, exercising more, and even working on home improvements; although one resolution you might not consider that’s both easy and effective is pest-proofing your home!. Making sure your home is protected against pests will help to keep them out for the rest of the year while also helping you stress less about pests! Here are some easy and hassle-free ways you can keep your house pest free this year!
Pests love three things: shelter, food, and water. Unfortunately for us, they can find all of these things inside our homes. Keeping a clean kitchen throughout the year can help with two of these main factors – food and water. Make sure you always clean your kitchen after cooking and eating meals. Wipe down any leftover crumbs and spills, even in hard to reach places. Store food, including pet food, in airtight containers in your pantries. Every week try to sweep up your floors and vacuum to ensure that there isn’t missed food debris on the floors.
Seal Those Gaps
Pests only need the smallest gap to enter your home and infest! Ensure pests don’t get inside by inspecting both the exterior and interior walls of your home for any open areas. If a gap is found, tightly seal it up with caulk. Make sure to also check areas where your utilities and pipes come into the home for any gaps. Finally, use screens on doors and windows, making sure they are in good repair. If a hole is found, replace the door screens and windows as soon as possible.
Don’t Forget About Outside
Pest proofing outside the home is just as important as proofing inside. Pests love clutter and debris like fallen leaves. To help declutter, clean out your gutters of debris and consider installing gutter guards to help eliminate clogs and standing water. Similarly, rake up any leaves that have fallen throughout your yard. Be sure to also keep your firewood stored at least 20 feet from your home and elevate it. If you bring the wood inside, make sure to inspect it for pests. Trim your bushes and trees back from your home where they are not touching the sides of your house. This can help with keeping pests and wildlife creatures from entering your attic.
Call A Professional
Ringing in the New Year can sometimes feel overwhelming when thinking about all the goals we want to achieve. If you want to start out the year less stressed about pests, consider calling a professional pest control company. These professionals can set you up with a scheduled treatment and prevention plan so you can focus more time on doing the things you love.
One thing that is sure to put a damper on your holiday spirit is unwanted pests! The holiday season provides ample opportunity for household pests to make their way into your home. Spiders, rodents, ants, ticks, and other overwintering pests will commonly invade in search of food, water, and shelter.
Holiday pests will use Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, decorations, storage boxes, luggage, and more to hitch a ride into your home. Some pests will hide in the branches and crevices of Christmas trees, wreaths, garland, and firewood. They can even lay eggs which will then hatch after you bring them inside. Mice and other pests will take refuge inside your storage boxes that hold decorations. You may find live pests, dead pests, or droppings inside these containers. You may also find that they have chewed or damaged wires inside the box.
Increased travel at the holidays increases the risk of bed bugs. These pests hitch a ride on unsuspecting travelers’ luggage, coats, purses, and more. The kitchen is often the central gathering place for holiday cooking and meals. It can also be a big source of food for unwanted pests. Crumbs, spills, leftovers, and dirty dishes all provide an easy food source for holiday pests.
Don’t let pests ruin your holiday plans. Keep them away with these 5 holiday pest control tips.
Inspect Trees and Other Live Decorations
Pests can come indoors on live trees, wreaths, garland, and firewood. Carefully inspect these items outside before bringing them inside. Make sure to check for live pests, nests, and eggs. Shake them out carefully to disturb any slumbering pests and to knock off any hidden pests.
Check Storage Boxes
Pests will hide out in boxes used to store decorations and other holiday items. Unpack these items outside and inspect them all carefully for signs or pests including dead bugs, live bugs, droppings, gnaw marks, and other damage. Carefully check strings of lights and other wires for signs of chewing.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
Holiday meals are centered around the kitchen. Clean up the kitchen after cooking. Wash dishes or load the dishwasher and don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight. Sweep up any crumbs from the floor and clean up spills immediately. Make sure to empty the trashcan frequently, especially before bedtime.
Use Caution When Traveling
Bed bugs are common at the holidays because of the increase in travel. Whether you are going away or you have guests coming in, inspect the bedding carefully for bed bugs. Signs of bed bugs include live bugs, reddish brown spots on bed linens, and shed skins. These can be found on beds, mattresses, box springs, linens, curtains, furniture, and even baseboards. Check luggage before bringing it into the house. Wash clothes in hot water and dry on hot heat as soon as you return home.
Prepare For Next Season
At the end of the holidays, taking down decorations and storing them for next year becomes a priority. Store your holiday decor in plastic storage bins with sealing lids rather than cardboard boxes or bags. Don’t pile discarded trees, garlands, or cut firewood near your home as these can attract termites and rodents.
The holiday season is a time of great joy, family, and friendship. Don’t let holiday pests ruin your year. If you have a problem with any type of critter in your home, contact your local pest control company for a free inspection and comprehensive treatment plan.
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As we gear up for the holidays, we all start to see ourselves spending more time in the kitchen. The kitchen, often the central gathering spot for many families across the country, is a place where finding pests is certainly not ideal. While you continue cooking and gathering with your family this holiday season, keep in mind some of these tips to keep your kitchen pest-free!
Most pests, like cockroaches and rodents, are searching for both moisture and a food source; and during the colder months they also look for a warm place. If food is left out, it’s likely a pest will contaminate it. Roaches can be dangerous as they can spread bacteria and human pathogens when leaving their fecal matter and other debris in or around food.
After cooking and eating, wipe down any crumbs and spills from your countertops, tables, floors, and even shelves. Wash all dirty dishes and drain the dirty dishwater after each use.
Keeping your home well ventilated and dry can help tremendously with keeping pests out. As most pests are attracted to moisture, certain areas of the house can provide the ideal breeding ground for them such as basements, attics, and crawlspaces. They can then migrate to your kitchen in search of food. Try using a dehumidifier in these areas to help decrease the moisture throughout. You may also consider a crawlspace enclosure to help with eliminating moisture and increasing energy savings for your home.
While we can do all the cleaning in the world to keep pests out, sometimes they still find their way inside, even in a clean home! Pests like spiders, fruit flies, and ants can easily sneak inside through the tiniest of gaps and holes. To prevent them, inspect the outside of your home for any potential entry points and seal them up with caulk or steel wool. Don’t forget to repair any broken windows and screens too.
If you feel overwhelmed with the holidays and having to deal with pests in the kitchen, consider reaching out to your local pest control company where they can identify entry points and set up a customized treatment plan.
December is here, officially kicking off the holiday season! Celebrating the holidays with loved ones is important to many families across the country. While we gear up for family get togethers and putting up our favorite decorations, it’s important to remember that even those beloved decorations can allow pests to enter your home!
Many of us store our decorations in attics, basements, and garages. These places are cold and dark, and if there’s a leak, provide water sources, making them ideal habitats for pests! Your stored decorations also provide an undisturbed hiding place for mice, rodents, spiders, and more, who crawl into the storage boxes you put away last holiday season!
To make sure you don’t bring them into your living space, carefully inspect and unpack these items outside first. Keep decorations like foliage, potpourri, and Indian corn in air-tight containers during off-seasons to help prevent pests for next year.
If celebrating Christmas, many homeowners buy a real Christmas tree and wreath each year. Unfortunately, pests like spiders, mites, moths, and even squirrels will hitchhike on these decorations and into your home!
Before bringing any of these items in, ensure that you’re inspecting for overwintering pests outside by shaking them. You can also check for any droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage from these creatures before bringing them into your home.
With the holidays comes colder weather. Some of us are lucky enough to have a fireplace to keep warm and cozy throughout the winter season. It’s important to be cautious when bringing firewood indoors. Pests like spiders, termites, and ants will hide out on the firewood and hitch a ride indoors. Make sure you inspect the wood before bringing it inside and keep it stored at least 20 feet from your home on a raised platform.
If you suspect you have a holiday pest problem, consider reaching out to your local pest control company who can provide you with an evaluation and prevention plan.