As the warm weather winds down and winter settles in, most of us will breathe a sigh of relief that we survived another season of creepy crawlers. Don’t relax just yet! Just because the weather has turned colder doesn’t mean pests have hibernated for the winter. Many pests will make their way into your home in search of shelter, food, and warmth. Mice, cockroaches, and spiders can be found crawling underfoot in the wintertime. These overwintering pests aren’t just a nuisance to have in your home; they can cause significant damage to both your property and your health. Rodents are known to carry Salmonella and Hantavirus and can chew through cables and electrical wires, increasing the risk of fires. Some spiders like the brown recluse and the black widow have bites that can be a serious threat to humans. Cockroaches are known to trigger allergies and asthma. Winter brings ice, snow, and wind, causing enough stress on your home without the threat of pest infestations. So what can you do to reduce this stress and get rid of the last of these creepy crawlers? Check out these winter pest prevention tips to help you have a stress free winter.
- Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks and holes. Seal them to keep pests from easily accessing your home.
- Replace any loose mortar around foundations and weatherstripping around windows and doors. Repair or replace any damaged screens.
- Eliminate moisture by repairing leaky faucets and clearing clogged drains.
- Keep gutters clear of debris before the weather gets too cold. Consider installing gutter guards to eliminate the need to clean gutters.
- Keep attics, basements, and crawlspaces dry and well ventilated. Consider enclosing your crawlspace.
- Keep storage areas like basements, attics, and garages well organized. Use plastic storage containers rather than cardboard and store them off the floor.
- Screen your chimney vents.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and elevate it off the ground.
- Keep food, including pet food, in airtight containers and clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Call a professional pest control company to provide you with a thorough home inspection and set you up with a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.
As fall approaches, you might notice the leaves changing colors and eventually falling to the ground. While most of us enjoy this time of year with cooler weather, football games, and the holidays around the corner, one thing we don’t look forward to is that miserable chore of cleaning all those leaves out of our gutters. One way to avoid this tedious task is installing gutter guards. But do they live up to the hype? Are they worth the extra expense? Here are 5 reasons to install gutter guards on your home:
Let’s face it – cleaning gutters is a dangerous job. There’s the risk of falling off a ladder, electric shock from exposed wires, and even the potential to damage not only the gutters themselves but also your walls, fascia, or even your roof. Gutter guards virtually eliminate the need to clean your gutters every year making it much safer for both you and your home.
The debris that clogs your gutters can harbor mold and spores. This can cause damage to your home and can also be hazardous to the health of you and your family. Gutter guards prevent clogs in your gutters eliminating this risk to you and your family.
Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow which can be detrimental to your home. Overflows can damage the gutters themselves, your foundation, the walls and roof when water penetrates the eaves, and it can even erode your property and landscaping. By eliminating the clogs that cause this excess water, gutter guards help prevent damage to your home and, in fact, can even help strengthen your gutters against future damage.
Gutter guards are not only affordable but they also save you time and money on cleaning your gutters. You get a return on your investment by cutting the costs of cleaning, as well as by preventing the significant and costly damage to your home that clogged gutters can lead to.
Clogged gutters provide the ideal location for animals to nest and also provides them with a ready-made food source. Gutters also allow an entry point for pests into your home. Birds, possum, rats, mice, and even snakes will make themselves at home in your gutters if they are clogged. Blocked gutters also lead to standing water which is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Still on the fence about installing gutter guards? Northwest can help. Give us a call or fill out the form below for a free Leafproof XP gutter guard estimate!
Fall is the perfect time of year to prepare your home for winter. While prepping your yard and storing away your summer things are usually at the top of the list, don’t forget to protect your home from pests this winter also! Fall is prime time for pests to make their way into your house in search of food, shelter, and warmth over the cold winter months.
Rodents will make their way indoors in search of a warm place to shelter for winter. Flies will often be found on the south and west facing walls of your home in search heat. Many stinging insects like yellow jackets, bees, and wasps will become more hostile in the fall as their food supply dwindles. Cockroaches are attracted by the moisture found in and under your home. Other pests like ants, stinkbugs, ladybugs, and box elders will come inside looking for a place to overwinter.
Now that you know what kinds of pests to expect this fall, what can you do to protect your home from these often unseen invaders? Check out these 6 tips to prevent pests this fall.
- Keep Them Out. Inspect the inside and outside of your home for possible entry points that pests can use. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home with caulk and steel wool, especially around utility pipes. Screen your attic vents and install chimney sweeps. Screen any other openings to the outdoors like mail slots and pet doors. Repair loose mortar around your foundation and windows. Check screens for holes and repair or replace them as needed. Check for any gaps around doors and windows. Install or replace weatherstripping as needed and install door sweeps.
- Keep It Clean. Wipe down your counters and sweep your floors often. Clean up spills immediately. Take out your trash on a regular basis. Don’t let fruits and veggies get overripe on your counters. Keep food, including pet food, stored in airtight containers. Avoid leaving pet food dishes out for prolonged periods of time.
- Dry It Out. Mosquitoes breed in standing water and cockroaches are attracted to moisture. Walk your property on a regular basis to check for any standing water. Be sure to check your gutters and rain spouts for clogs and consider installing gutter guards to help prevent them. Check for leaks near your air conditioning unit. Pick up any toys from your yard that may hold water. Keep basements, attics, and crawlspaces dry and ventilated. Consider enclosing your crawlspace. Use dehumidifiers in attics and garages.
- Don’t Forget Outside. Maintain your landscaping and keep grass trimmed and mowed. Trim any bushes and shrubs away from your home. There should be at least 2 feet between any landscaping and the walls of your house. Rake up any debris from your yard and be sure to pull weeds. Store firewood at least 20 feet from your house and store it in racks above the ground.
- Inspect Before Bringing It In. Thoroughly inspect any items like boxes, packages, and even grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Thoroughly inspect luggage after traveling before bringing them into your home and store them in plastic bags or in external buildings like sheds or garages instead of in your home.
- Call The Pros. Call a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.
The dog days of summer are upon us and, if you’re like most of us, you’re getting tired of the daily popup rain showers every afternoon. With all this extra precipitation, have you checked to make sure your gutters are clear and draining properly? Will you have to climb a ladder to get those leaves and other debris out of your clogged gutters?
One solution to this exasperating chore is to install a gutter guard system on your home. Gutter guards eliminate the messy hassle of cleaning your gutters and also reduce the risk of falling from ladders. Leafproof XP is a unique gutter guard system that can be installed on your existing gutters without causing damage to your roof while keeping out debris and leaves. It also provides you with a year round solution for cleaning your gutters.
How Does It Work?
Leafproof XP is a solid aluminum gutter cover that utilizes surface tension. The “S” bend technology they use causes draining water to slow its momentum as it comes off the roof and into your gutters.
What Else Does It Do?
Leafproof XP also uses its patented technology to prevent most leaves and debris from getting into your gutters and causing clogs. Leafproof is made from aluminum so squirrels, birds, and other pests can’t chew through the guard. The opening for the water channel is also small enough that most birds can’t get into it to build their nests.
How Is It Cleaned?
Occasionally some debris might get into the Leafproof XP system. When that happens, the debris should be visible from the ground and can be cleaned with a hose with a high pressure nozzle. This decreases your risk of injury from falling off a ladder.
Will It Damage The Roof On Installation?
Leafproof XP is installed by sliding under the first row of shingles on your roof and attaching to the gutter lip. No nails or screws are required for installation, saving your roof and fascia from damage and potentially voiding your warranty.
Now that you know the benefits of Leafproof XP, what’s your next step? You can give us a call at (888) 466-7849 or click here to request your free estimate.
One of the perks of summer is spending more time doing what we enjoy outdoors – barbecues, picnics, gardening anyone? But, you know that all of these fun activities come with another risk – pests! Nothing ruins a picnic faster than ants or mosquitoes. What can you do to make sure you can still enjoy all the fun times outside this summer? Check out these 9 ways to protect your outdoor fun from pests.
- Remove standing water. Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Walk around your yard and fill in any areas where water is prone to pooling. Use pumps in ponds and fountains. Empty out any containers that contain standing water like wading pools, flower pots, buckets, toys, wading pools, and more. Check gutters and rain spouts for clogs and clear them. Consider using gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Check around AC units for leaks.
- Clear out clutter and debris. There are lots of items around your yard that can hold rainwater like toys, tires, and even half empty bags. Make sure these are empty and cleared away or, if you can’t get rid of them, turn them over so they can’t collect water. Piles of leaves, fallen branches, and rotting fruit can attract pests to your yard by providing them with food and shelter. Make sure these are cleared out of your yard.
- Landscape your yard. Tall grass and weeds can harbor ticks, fleas, and ant hills. Mow your lawn regularly in spring and summer so pests have less places to hide. Overgrown shrubbery and tree branches that are in contact with the side of your home can provide a clear pathway for roaches and other pests. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed with at least 1 foot between the branches and the walls of your home.
- Store firewood properly. Firewood provides food and shelter for many different pests, especially termites. Make sure firewood is dry before storing it. Keep firewood stacked above the ground and use a rack or a platform if possible. This way ants and termites can’t easily access the wood. Make sure firewood is stored at least 5 feet away from any structures like houses or sheds. If possible, store firewood with a cover or roof over it.
- Use screens. Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Make sure doors and windows have screens on them. Check screens regularly for holes and tears and repair or replace them as needed. Check around doors and windows for gaps and replace weatherstripping as needed.
- Inspect your outdoor equipment. Regularly check the chains of swing sets and the corners of outdoor furniture for spiders and egg sacks and remove them immediately. Check under your porch, in your eaves, or near your grill for wasp nests and remove them immediately. Keep outside toys outside and inside toys inside. If you have to bring outside toys items inside make sure to wipe them down beforehand.
- Cover your food. Keep all food and beverages in sealed covers and containers. Keep food covered at all times. Keep garbage containers sealed. Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal. Clean trash, spills, and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces. Rinse all beverage bottles and cans and dispose of them in tightly closed garbage containers. Use clear plastic cups for drinks since aluminum cans and plastic bottles provide hiding places for stinging insects.
- Use insect repellent. Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. If you must be outdoors during this time, use insect repellent that contains DEET. Use repellent on both exposed skin and on your clothes. Wear long sleeves and pants to avoid bites. Use citronella candles around decks and patios.
- Call a professional. If you suspect you have a pest problem, call a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and a comprehensive treatment and prevention program for pests.