What Attracts Millipedes?

What Attracts Millipedes?

Millipedes are common pests that can be found just about anywhere in the United States. Most of the time they can be found outside under leaves, mulch, compost, and rocks, although occasionally they will come indoors – in search of water during droughts or in search of shelter after heavy rains. They can usually be found infesting basements, garages, and crawlspaces. If you find a millipede in your home, there’s a good chance they are breeding somewhere on your lawn.

Millipedes are decomposers with their diet primarily consisting of damp, decaying plant material. Because of this, they are quite beneficial to have in your garden. Millipedes are harmless to humans but they can become a nuisance if they are present in large numbers. Prevention is the best start to millipede control. Keep millipedes away from your home with these millipede prevention tips.

Get Rid Of Moisture

What attracts millipedes is moisture, especially in crawlspaces and around foundations. Keep gutters clear and in good repair. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Make sure downspouts are pointed away from foundations and use splash blocks to keep water away from foundation walls. Consider installing tiles or drains or sloping the ground so water drains away from foundations. Repair any leaky pipes, appliances, or faucets. Reduce the humidity in your crawlspace and basement with dehumidifiers, sump pumps, or soil covers.

Get Rid Of Attractants

If there is nowhere for millipedes to breed or hide, they can’t get into your home. Keep millipedes out by removing mulch, leaves, grass clippings, boards, woodpiles, rocks, boxes, etc. from your yard, especially if they are near foundations. If you are unable to remove them completely, try to elevate them off the ground. Try not to overmulch your flowerbeds.

Keep Your Lawn Maintained

Millipedes thrive in the moist layer of thatch that can accumulate on lawns. Keep your grass mowed short and dethatch the lawn as this will make it less appealing to millipedes. Try not to overwater your lawn. Don’t water at night since there is no sun to help evaporate the moisture.

Seal Your Home

Millipedes can get into your home through cracks in the exterior. Seal any cracks or openings in the outside foundation. Use thresholds or door sweeps on all exterior doors. Caulk the outer edges of the thresholds. Seal any expansion joints where sunrooms, patios, and sidewalks are next to foundations. Seal any expansion joints or gaps at the bottom of basement walls.

Be Patient

Millipedes can only survive for a few days once they get inside your home. The conditions indoors are too dry for them to be able to live long periods of time. The infestation will be short lived and eventually they will die off. Once this happens, you can sweep them up with a broom or vacuum them up.

Contact The Pros

While millipedes don’t cause damage to homes and aren’t harmful to humans, they can become quite a nuisance when they infest in large numbers. If you have a problem with millipedes or any other pests, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with the most up-to-date prevention and treatment techniques.

 

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What to Know About Fleas & Ticks

What to Know About Fleas & Ticks

The weather is warming up, many of us are starting to spend time outside with our friends, family, and pets. Enjoying the outdoors has its benefits but also the disadvantage of coming across nuisance pests! Two common spring pests that can be harmful to both humans and pets are ticks and fleas. These insects will typically latch onto us or our animals, making their way inside homes, bringing the risk of infestation.

Fleas

Fleas tend to be dark red or brown, with their size varying between ½” to 1/6” in length. Fleas have a flat body, two antennae, and six legs. These pests will bite both humans and pets such as dogs and cats. Fleas have the incredible ability to jump to great heights, sometimes up to eight feet high! Jumping allows them to hitchhike into homes while hidden in pet fur. Dogs and cats will often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or spending time outdoors. Once fleas have latched onto an animal host, they tend to stay there and then will easily transfer over to furniture or other animals. Fleas can be a health risk as their saliva is known to cause anemia, dermatitis, and facilitate and transfer tapeworms.

Ticks

There are two categories when identifying ticks: soft ticks and hard ticks. The soft tick will feed on bats and birds while the hard tick will feed on humans, pets, and nuisance wildlife. People and animals are likely to encounter ticks during the warmer months. Ticks can pose several health threats to humans and animals as they can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease and “tick paralysis.” Some tick species, such as the American Dog Tick, prefer to attach and feed on domestic dogs, which in turn allows them to sneak into our homes. When ticks feed, they can grow up to four times in size when engorged with blood, making them much easier to spot.

Controlling fleas and ticks can sometimes feel like an impossible task, especially if you have animals. If you suspect that you have a flea and tick problem, consider calling your local professional pest company who can thoroughly inspect your entire property and provide you with a treatment and prevention plan.

Carpenter Ants: The Silent Destroyers

Carpenter Ants: The Silent Destroyers

Every homeowner dreads discovering an ant infestation, whether inside or outside the home. Ants can be a major nuisance as they contaminate food, build their nests in unwanted places, and destroy property. One type of ant in particular, the carpenter ant, is considered a “silent destroyer,” often causing severe damage to homes undetected by excavating wood. These pests can be tough to eliminate but it is possible.

Carpenter ants are ½” to 5/8” long, and are usually red, black, brown, or a combination of these in color. These ants build their nests by creating smooth tunnels inside wood, preferring wet, damp wood. Common places carpenter ants will build their nests include tree stumps, fence posts, window and doorframes, firewood, and other various places with exposed wood. Carpenter ant nests can be problematic to your home as the tunnels they create can damage the structural soundness of wood throughout your property. If you notice sawdust or wood fragments falling throughout your property, there is a good chance that carpenter ants have infested.

Carpenter ants need a constant water source to survive. The first step in preventing ants like these is to eliminate moisture or standing water throughout your property. Consider using a dehumidifier in crawlspaces, basements, and attics to help with dampness. Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your home, as ants can use these as an access point. Take it a step farther by looking around your property for any gaps or holes and sealing these up with caulk, as ants only need the smallest gap to get inside a house.

Preventing ants might seem like a daunting task; when ants infest it can seem like they are everywhere! Consider reaching out to your local pest control company where they can provide you with a prevention and treatment plan during peak ant season.

Does One Cockroach Mean an Infestation?

Does One Cockroach Mean an Infestation?

Most people equate cockroaches with dirty homes but this isn’t always the case. What attracts cockroaches to a clean house is food, water, and warmth. While the presence of one cockroach in your home can be enough to send you into a panic, one roach doesn’t necessarily mean you have a full blown infestation. Roaches are social pests, however, and reproduce quickly. If you spot one, odds are there are a few others lurking nearby, in dark corners or cracks and crevices and they could be fast on their way to a full blown infestation.

Cockroaches are dangerous to humans – they carry bacteria on their bodies and their feet, contaminating any surfaces they come into contact with. They can also trigger allergies and asthma. Besides seeing a live bug, how do you know you could have a cockroach problem? Signs of cockroaches in your home include dead bodies; eggs or eggshells (which are small, brown and oval-shaped); droppings (which are dark and powdery like ground coffee); and a strong, musty odor that doesn’t go away.

The best method of roach control is to be proactive in preventing them. Prevent cockroaches by:

1. Cleaning 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. Decluttering Your Home

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. Sealing Your Home 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. Fixing 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. Calling A Professional

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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Honeybees & Their Importance

Honeybees & Their Importance

Honeybees are extremely beneficial to our entire environment for their role in pollination. These bees help with the growth and reproduction of plants and each bee can pollinate more than 100 crops! It’s important to understand why these insects are important and how we can best protect them moving forward.

There are three types of honeybees: adult workers, drones, and the queen. The adult worker bees, who are all female, are all infertile. Their main role in the colony is to collect pollen and nectar. The worker bees do have barbed stingers and, while they aren’t typically aggressive, they will sting if they feel threatened. Drones are male bees and do not have stingers, nor do they collect nectar. Their primary role is to mate with the queen bee. Queen bees are slightly larger than worker bees. The queen bee plays a vital role in the bee colony, as she is the only bee who can produce more honeybees.

Honeybees are active pollinators and will produce honey. Since these insects are the only social insects, their colonies can survive for many years, with an individual colony containing anywhere between 20,000 to 80,000 bees. If the colony’s size gets too large for the available hive space or the queen begins to fail, the bees will start swarming. While these bees aren’t aggressive, they will attack when they feel like their colony is being threatened.

The production of honey by honeybees is extremely important to the environment. Since honey does not have an expiration date, it can be used and reused several times. Honey also has medical benefits, from healing burns to fighting some allergies. Honeybees, as we know, help pollinate crops, which in turn helps us produce and reproduce the plants and food we use to survive.

While bees have positive effects on our environment, some people can be a little wary of them on their property. Protecting these insects is crucial, and it’s recommended that the first and only treatment for these bees is removing and relocating them and their hives by local beekeepers. If you notice you have a honeybee colony on your property, reach out to a pest control company that can provide safe relocation for these insects.

What To Do With A Squirrel in Your House

What To Do With A Squirrel in Your House

Squirrels are classified as rodents making them distant cousins to other more popular species like rats and mice. Like their rodent counterparts, squirrels can cause damage to your home and spread diseases to you and your family. Squirrels can access your home through small openings such as open doors and windows, down chimneys, through fireplaces, and through holes or openings in roofs or eaves. Once inside, these pests can chew through wires, siding, and insulation, causing costly damage and putting you at risk of fire. To keep these nuisance pests out, here are five ways to deal with a squirrel in your house.

Identify Where They Get In

The first step in dealing with squirrels is to figure out where they are getting into your home. Squirrels only need a small opening to squeeze through and once they are inside, getting them out can be difficult. Perform a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of your home, checking for holes, openings, and gaps that squirrels and other pests can use to gain access.

Seal Up Entry Points

Once you’ve identified where the squirrels are getting in, seal it up to prevent them from using it again. If there is no presence of squirrels inside your home, go ahead and seal up ALL of the entry points you find. If there is a squirrel present, make sure to leave one entryway open so they have a way to get back out. Cover this last opening with a single sheet of newspaper. If it is still intact 2 to 3 days after you stop hearing the squirrel, it is safe to go ahead and seal it up. Make sure doors and windows are covered with screens and properly fit to your home. Place wire mesh over chimneys and open vents. Use caulk, steel wool, or other appropriate materials to seal any other openings you find.

Give Them A Reason to Leave

Squirrels will often not leave your home on their own, especially if they have already given birth to a litter. To avoid this, try to drive the squirrels out as soon as you notice their presence. Playing loud music or keeping the lights on are both good ways to repel squirrels. If there is a squirrel present, try to avoid the area as you can spook them, causing them to flee to another part of the house, usually causing even more damage.

Use Traps

As a last resort, you can use traps to get rid of squirrels in your home. There are several different types of traps you can use. Live capture traps are a box-type trap that allows you to capture the squirrel alive and then release it outside. These traps have to be checked frequently and some states even require permits to use them. Kill traps are also box-type traps but eliminate the squirrel quickly and safely. Body-gripping traps can be used outside known entry points to capture the squirrels as they go in and out of your home.

Prevention is Key

As with any other type of pest control, prevention is key to keeping squirrels and other nuisance pests out of your home. The first step, as mentioned above, is to seal up any entry points around your home. Trim any overhanging trees that squirrels and other pests can use to access your roof, windows, and attic. Use traps as necessary.

If you have a problem with squirrels or any other pests, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of pest you are dealing with, find potential entry points, and help prevent future infestations.

 

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When Is Millipede Season?

When Is Millipede Season?

Millipedes are long, wormlike animals that are also referred to as worms, wireworms, and armyworms. While often mistaken for centipedes, millipedes are smaller (1 to 1-1/4 inches in length) with dark brown coloring and shiny, hard shells. They have long cylindrical bodies and have a habit of curling into a ball when they are disturbed. While the name millipede might imply they have thousands of legs, in reality they typically have 4 legs per body segment and at least 60 legs total, although some species can have up to 160 legs. Millipedes are harmless to humans as they cannot sting or bite. They also do not feed on plants or wooden structures. What they do feed on is decaying plant material and prefer damp, moist environments where they thrive. They are often found under leaves, plant debris, mulch, pine needles and other similar habitats.

While there is no set millipede season, they do go on mass migrations twice per year – once in the spring and once in the fall. These usually occur on warm, humid nights where they will emerge by the hundreds. Millipedes are outdoor pests so finding them inside your home means they have wandered in by mistake. In fact, millipedes cannot reproduce indoors. When these pests do make their way indoors, they are often found in garages and basements. Millipedes are nocturnal when they wander out of their hiding places roaming aimlessly. They eventually crawl back into holes or cracks (oftentimes in our homes) to escape the dryness of the impending daytime. They can often be found hiding under the edge of the garage door, in cracks along the exterior of your home, in sidewalk or driveway cracks, and in the gaps of your foundation.

Although millipedes are harmless, they can become a nuisance when they make their way into your home en masse. While there is no definitive millipede control method, the best practice is to try and keep them outdoors as best as possible. Because they often wander in through cracks and gaps, make sure these and other entry points around doors, windows, and foundations are sealed. They feed on organic material so keeping mulch, pine needles, and dead leaves away from your home will also help. Ensure gutters are not clogged and downspouts are angled away from foundations as this dampness will attract them in droves. Using insecticides on millipedes indoors is usually considered unnecessary as they will die in a short period of time due to lack of moisture. The best option to get rid of them indoors is to sweep or vacuum them up and discard them. Once the cold weather hits, they will become dormant… at least until springtime rolls around again!

If you have a problem with millipedes or any other household pests, contact your local pest control company for a free analysis.

 

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Spring Cleaning to Keep Pests Out

Spring Cleaning to Keep Pests Out

Spring is a perfect time to tackle home projects and deep clean the entire house! With warmer weather expected, it’s essential to get your home prepared and cleaned to make sure spring pests don’t infest!

For many, the kitchen is the heart and main area of the household. Family members gather, cook, and eat in this space, making the kitchen the ideal place for pests to take advantage of both food and water sources that are left behind. Pests like ants are known to infest the kitchen for these things they need to survive. Beetles and Indian meal moths are also searching for a food source, usually in pantries. To keep all these pests out, homeowners should make cleaning a priority all year long. Wipe down countertops after any spills or mess and clean up any food crumbs that might have dropped. Consider going through the kitchen pantry monthly to discard any expired items and wipe down the pantry shelves.

Keeping moisture out of your bathroom can sometimes feel impossible. Roaches and silverfish are two pests that are highly attracted to moisture and often found in the bathrooms of homes. With a little preparation and cleaning, every homeowner can eliminate moisture to keep these pests at bay. Check under the sinks and around the tub to ensure there are no leaks. Keep the bathroom decluttered by cleaning out the medicine cabinet and washing the shower curtain and liner.

Basements and crawlspaces are both dark and cool, making them the perfect place for pests to take refuge. Rodents and spiders are commonly found in these places and will often seek clutter and dark corners to hide in. Going through and eliminating cluttered items and belongings stored in the basement will help keep deter these pests. If storage is needed, avoid using cardboard boxes and use plastic bins with secure lids instead.

Keeping pests out of your home can sometimes feel impossible. If you notice more pests in your house than you can handle, consider reaching out to your local pest control company. These trained professionals can help identify the pests, provide a prevention plan, and treat areas as needed.

How Each Season Effects Pests

How Each Season Effects Pests

No matter what the temperature is, pests are still in search of two things: shelter and food. This means that throughout the year, your home is at risk for any pest to enter and invade. Each season brings different pests to the varying stages of their life cycles. This means that while you can expect mosquitoes in the summer, you wouldn’t expect them in the winter. It’s important to know the seasonal pest patterns for your area so you can make the proper preparations for your home.

Winter is a time for hibernation and survival for many pests and wildlife. The colder weather has most pests looking for shelter. Depending on the pest, they often seek it both outdoors and indoors. Bees, wasps, and other stinging insects seek out places in logs or eaves of homes. Overwintering pests like spiders, cockroaches, and rodents tend to look indoors, sometimes in our homes, for a warm place to inhabit. The main key to preventing these pests is to start pest-proofing in the fall!

Springtime brings certain pests out from hibernation and many look to start the mating process. Pests that hibernate during the winter will awaken from a dormant state and emerge. Increased activity begins for pests like termites as their swarming season begins. Likewise, spring rain will drive ants out from their nesting sites in search for higher grounds. It’s important to ensure your home is prepared for these pests throughout the spring. Getting proactive now on your pest proofing will only ensure that these pests stay out of your home. Inspect the exterior and interior of the home for cracks or holes and make sure your yard is clear of standing water.

Backyard pests are out and about during the humid months of summer. While we tend to see fewer summer pests indoors, we do see a larger amount in our yards. Mosquitoes are especially active during these months due to the moisture of the spring and summer rains. Others like bees, wasps, and other stinging pests can be seen too.

Before winter hits, most pests are getting ready to hibernate and prepare for the cold weather during the fall season. In these months, certain pests and wildlife creatures will invade your property in search of shelter for the winter. Fall pests include ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and spiders. These pests are most likely looking for shelter before the colder temperatures hit.

If you feel your home is nesting unwanted pests or would like to ensure they don’t enter your home, call your local pest control company who can provide you with a home inspection, prevention plan, and treatment plan.

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