4 Fall Pest Proofing Tips

4 Fall Pest Proofing Tips

The cooler weather of fall drives many pests indoors in search of warmth from the cold, shelter from the weather, and food when supplies are scarce. These overwintering pests will spend the cold season indoors, often in your home, until the weather warms back up in the spring. Some common fall pests are spiders, rodents, roaches, and stinkbugs. Don’t let these pests take over your home this fall. Keep them out with these 4 fall pest proofing tips.

1. Seal Them Out

The first step in pest-proofing your home is to seal them out. Pests can be very creative when it comes to finding ways into your home. Screen attic vents, chimney openings, mail slots, and pet doors. Seal any cracks or crevices on the exterior of your home with caulk or steel wool. Seal around any utility pipes that enter your home. Replace or repair weatherstripping on doors and windows. Repair any loose mortar around windows and foundations. Install door sweeps on your doors. Repair and replace any window screens.

2. Dry It Out

Most pests need water to survive. Many prefer a moist environment to thrive in. Eliminating sources of water will help keep pests out of your home. Keep crawlspaces, attics, and basements dry and ventilated. Consider crawlspace enclosure. Use a dehumidifier in garages and basements. Make sure you have a proper drainage system installed outside your home. Install gutters and keep them clear of debris. Consider installing gutter guards to help eliminate clogs. Make sure drainpipes are diverting water away from foundations. Repair any leaks as soon as possible. Get rid of any standing water on your property.

3. Clean It Up

Pests will also be drawn to any areas of your home where they can find food. Eliminating these food sources will go a long way towards pest-proofing your home. Keep kitchen counters and appliances clean. Store food in airtight containers. Empty your trash regularly and use trashcans with lids. Clean up after each meal, making sure to not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Seep, mop, and vacuum regularly. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.

4. Don’t Forget Outside

Some pests will lurk outside your home and use every opportunity they can to hitchhike their way inside. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and inspect it carefully before bringing it indoors. Keep shrubbery trimmed and grass mowed. Don’t let any limbs or branches touch the exterior of your home. Inspect any storage boxes, decorations, etc. before bringing them inside.

If you have a problem with pests during any season of the year, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.

 

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Look Out for These Fall Nuisance Pests

Look Out for These Fall Nuisance Pests

During the impending cooler months, some pests will begin seeking warmth and shelter for survival. These pests, known as overwintering pests, can survive cold temperatures due to these activities. There are three common overwintering pests: stink bugs, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs. They don’t cause any harm to you or your home, but they can become a nuisance once they get inside. Let’s break them down and discover the best ways to keep them away from your home.

Stink Bugs

These armor-shaped insects are an invasive species known to release an odor when disturbed or crushed. They pose no threat to humans or the structure of your home but can become a nuisance when an infestation occurs. They feed on a variety of plants, including fruits like apples, peaches, and figs. They prefer moist, mild climates and can be found in bathrooms and kitchens.

Lady Bugs

These harmless, overwintering pests are found worldwide and have over 5,000 known species. Ladybugs have an oval, dome-shaped body with a hard-shell wing that covers their inner wings. They are deemed beneficial and consume plant-eating insects, such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, and scale insects. During the colder months, they search for warmth and shelter. They can take over your home in a matter of days and can become a major nuisance when large populations congregate.

Boxelder Bugs

These pests are named for feeding off maple and seed-bearing boxelder trees in the warmer months. Boxelder bugs are sneaky pests that can easily make your home theirs. These pests are oval-shaped and elongated, with a reddish black body and orange markings on their back. They are considered more assertive than other overwintering species, puncturing skin when they feel threatened. The result is similar to that of a mosquito bite, so it shouldn’t be something to worry about.

Preventing Overwintering Pests

  • Seal or caulk all cracks, crevices, and holes around house foundations, siding, doors, windows, electrical, and plumbing.
  • Keep the yard clean by raking, cutting grass short, and picking up debris in the yard.
  • Use tight-fitting insect screens on foundations and attic vents.

If you suspect you have an overwintering pest infestation, contact a professional, local pest control company to provide you with a thorough evaluation and treatment plan.

Why Snake Control Is Important In The Fall

Why Snake Control Is Important In The Fall

As the season shifts from summer to early fall, cooler weather is around the corner. Many pests begin the hustle and bustle of preparing for winter – scavenging and storing food, finding a place to hibernate, or making their way into your home to overwinter. This time of year sees an increase in one pest in particular – snakes! Fall is a time for high snake activity and encounters with humans become more common.

There are many reasons snake control is important in the fall. As the leaves begin to change colors to red, orange, and brown and fall to the ground, they provide the ideal camouflage for snakes. Fall is also the time snakes begin to prepare for brumation and/or hibernation. Most snake species breed in the spring and eggs are hatched by the time autumn rolls around. These juvenile snakes are curious and more likely to be seen by humans. There are 6 venomous snake species in the southeastern United States and each of them actually breed in the fall. This means this time of year males will be actively seeking females to breed with, increasing your chance of an encounter with them. Overdevelopment in many areas has also depleted the natural habitats of many snakes, also increasing their chances of encounters with humans.

Because we see such an increase in snake activity during the fall, snake control becomes much more important. Here are some of our favorite snake prevention tips you can utilize this snake season.

  1. Familiarize Yourself. Identifying snakes is critical to avoiding and preventing them. Do some research and find out which snakes are common in your area, what they look like, and where to find them. Identify any areas you spend time in outdoors that could potentially house snakes and try to avoid them.
  2. Be Aware. Be aware of your surrounding when spending time outdoors. Look down when walking and check overhead when in wooded areas. Try to spot snakes before you walk right up on them.
  3. Avoid Habitats. Snakes like to hide in areas that provide them protection and coverage from predators. They can often be found in tall grass, overgrowth, on or under large rocks, rock piles, and wood piles. If you have to walk through these areas, keep your feet and legs protected, keep your eyes open
  4. Walk With Confidence. Snakes don’t have ears so they can’t actually hear you coming but they do respond to vibrations in the ground and can feel you coming before they actually see you. When walking outdoors walk with strong, confident steps and make your presence known.
  5. Cover Up. If you choose to spend time outdoors, make sure to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants if possible. Try to avoid sandals and flip flops as they leave your feet and toes exposed to potential snakebites.
  6. Look Up. Some types of snakes can actually climb trees and will even use overlapping branches to move from tree to tree without ever touching the ground. When walking or boating through wooded areas make sure to look up and keep an eye out for overhead snakes.
  7. Clean Up. Making your home and yard less inviting to snakes will help keep them from coming in. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to keep snakes out in search of warmth and food. Remove any debris and clutter from your yard and garage. Keep woodpiles elevated and stored away from your home. Clear any overgrowth from your yard.
  8. Use snake repellent. There are many commercial snake repellent products on the market today. If you prefer a more green snake control option, there are also natural snake repellents you can make at home. Choose whichever option works best for you.
  9. Call the Pros. Snake control can be a daunting task. If you have a problem with snakes around your home, contact your local pest control company who can help identify what type of snake you are dealing with and help safely and humanely get them away from your property.

 

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Signs of A Centipede Infestation

Signs of A Centipede Infestation

While centipedes can be unsettling to find in your home, they aren’t actually harmful to humans and can be quite beneficial to have around. Centipedes will eat almost any other kind of bug (even other centipedes!) and can help keep other pest populations down. While they can bite humans, these instances are rare. They also don’t cause damage to your home. How do you know if you’re just seeing a random bug or if you’re dealing with a full-fledged infestation? Here are some common signs of a centipede infestation.

Seeing Centipedes Inside

The most common sign of a centipede infestation is seeing them in your home. Centipedes are yellow to dark brown with elongated bodies, about 1″ to 1-1/2″ in length. They also have dark stripes running down their backs. They can have up to 15 pairs of legs extending from their bodies with their hind legs longer than the other legs (often mistaken for antennae). Centipedes are usually seen at night and are commonly found near damp areas of your home.

Seeing Other Pests Inside

Centipedes will eat other bugs like ants, roaches, spiders, bed bugs, and silverfish. As the populations of these other pests increase in and around your home, so will centipedes looking for a meal. On the flip side, seeing an increased number of centipedes in your home could also indicate you have a problem with other pests, as well.

Time of the Year

Centipede infestations are more common in spring and fall than they are in summer and winter. Spring is the time of year when centipede eggs hatch. Any overwintering pests that have laid eggs inside your home will emerge in abundance when the weather warms up. Centipedes also become more prevalent in the fall when temperatures start dropping. They can’t survive temps below freezing so they will make their way indoors looking for warmth and shelter during the winter. They are especially attracted to moisture and will often be found in basements and bathrooms.

Centipedes can get into your home through cracks in the exterior or in foundations. Once inside, they’ll then hide out in dark damp places, such as drains, cracks, crevices, bathtubs, and sinks.

Getting rid of centipedes can be a challenge. If you have a problem with centipedes in your home, try:

  1. Using traps. Sticky traps work best and can be bought at your local hardware store.
  2. Drying out your home. Centipedes are attracted to moisture. Repair any leaks immediately. Use a dehumidifier when possible.
  3. Sealing cracks and crevices. Centipedes love to sneak in through small cracks and crevices. Seal or repair these as soon as possible. Use weatherstripping around doors and windows. Use window and door screens when possible, also.
  4. Pest Control. Because centipedes feed on other pests, consider routine pest control to help keep all of these nuisance pests away from your home. Contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and recommendations.

 

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Spider Control for Spring

Spider Control for Spring

Although spiders are considered a year-round pest, they become more visible and active in the spring. Overwintering pests like spiders emerge as the weather warms up to lay eggs for the approaching season. Spiders are predators, preying on smaller insects for food. They are usually not a huge threat to humans with only a few venomous species in our area. In fact, they can be quite beneficial to have around your home, working as a form of natural pest control by eating other insects you may have around.

If the thought of sharing your home with spiders creeps you out, don’t fret! Here are some spider prevention tips you can use this spring to help keep these pests out.

  • Keep your outdoor lights off at night. Many bugs are attracted to light at night, providing a feast for spiders who are hanging around.
  • Keep vegetation trimmed and your lawn mowed. Overgrown bushes, grass, and other debris give spiders the ideal place to hide.
  • Don’t stack wood or install mulch to close to the sides of your home. Spiders will not only hide out in these places but will also use them as a bridge to crawl into your house.
  • Make sure trees, shrubs, and other landscaping aren’t touching your home. Spiders will also use these to get indoors.
  • Clean up food and crumbs immediately, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Get rid of stacks of old newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Dust frequently and vacuum weekly.
  • Make sure windows and door screens are intact. Spiders will use holes and tears to get inside.
  • Get rid of cobwebs both indoors and outdoors. Spiders will use these to store food once they catch their prey.
  • Apply diatomaceous earth to your yard. This is a nontoxic option for outdoor pest control that is harmless to humans.
  • Consider natural remedies to prevent spiders. Some common methods include the use of mint, citrus, and vinegar.
  • Contact a professional. Spiders can be difficult to get rid of on your own. A professional pest control company can help identify the type of spider you are dealing with; where they may be hiding, nesting, or getting inside; and the most effective way to treat them in your home.

 

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