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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3 Types of Cockroaches & How to Prevent Them

3 Types of Cockroaches & How to Prevent Them

It’s never ideal to encounter cockroaches in your home. If you do, it’s best to know what types of cockroaches you’re dealing with to help determine the best way to eliminate them. Failing to remove these pests can lead to unpleasant outcomes, like allergies, that can potentially increase your chances of getting asthma.

We have broken down the three most common cockroaches found in the south and how to keep them away; let’s check it out!

American Cockroach

This large out-of-the-house infesting roach can get up to 1.5 inches in length. These roaches develop wings towards the end of their life cycle, with males having some longer than their bodies. You can usually identify them by the yellow band located behind their head.

The American cockroach can typically be found where food is abundant.  They also prefer drains that aren’t used as often. In the wild, they prefer dark or damp wood piles.

German Cockroach

One of the most common species found worldwide, the German cockroach is generally light to dark brown and has two stripes near the back of its head. This species does have wings. They prefer dark, moist places. Since they don’t do well in the cold, they thrive in the southern climate.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

This species first entered the U.S. in 1903 and is now found nationwide. The brown-banded cockroach got its name from the two light brown bands that appear across its wings. They prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations in a room and can be found mostly in cabinets and behind picture frames. This species will typically hide its egg cases in or underneath furniture.

Prevention Tips

  • Focus on the Kitchen: Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and take out the trash regularly.
  • Declutter: Remove old newspapers, utilize plastic containers over cardboard, and make sure clothing isn’t piled on the floor.
  • Limit Moisture: Roaches need water to survive. Be sure to fix dripping faucets and leaky pipes. If you have a basement, employ a dehumidifier to take care of any moisture. Also, consider getting your crawlspace enclosed to ensure no moisture is found.

While prevention can help keep cockroaches away, sometimes it’s best to get a professional involved. A local pest control company will be able to inspect your home and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan going forward.

Why Am I Seeing Oriental Cockroaches?

Why Am I Seeing Oriental Cockroaches?

Oriental cockroaches are one of the larger species of roaches. Despite their name, they are thought to have originated in Africa. They are also known as waterbugs (because of their habitats) and black beetle cockroaches (because of their appearance). Like any other roach species, these cockroaches can spread diseases to humans, contaminate surfaces in your home, and trigger allergies and asthma.

Although they are active year-round, oriental roaches are more prevalent in the warmer months. They are often found crawling around toilets, pipes, and sinks. In fact, once indoors they are known to live in rarely used sink drains, garbage disposals, under cabinets with plumbing, and in bathroom voids. Outdoors they are found in flower beds, under mulch, in woodpiles, or anywhere there is moisture. They get into your home under doors, gaps in siding, through pipes, sewers, and drains.

Oriental cockroaches are smooth and shiny black in appearance. They grow to about 1″ in length. Males are smaller than females and have wings. Females are much larger with no wings. Although the males have wings, they are unable to fly.

Once you’ve identified the oriental cockroach, the next question is why are they in your house? Oriental cockroaches are attracted to moisture; in fact, they depend on it for survival. If you’re seeing oriental cockroaches, odds are you have excessive moisture somewhere in your home. This could be a leaky pipe or faucet, leaky roof, moisture-laden crawlspace, clogged gutters, standing water in your yard, overpopulated flowerbeds that hold moisture, etc.

To get rid of these pests, check out these oriental cockroach prevention tips:

  • Vacuum often and sweep up crumbs.
  • Keep kitchens and bathrooms clean.
  • Use a dehumidifier, especially in crawlspaces, to help control moisture.
  • Seal entry points with a silicone-based caulk.
  • Consider crawlspace enclosure.
  • Eliminate standing water on your property.
  • Divert water away from foundations with downspouts and splash blocks.
  • Keep gutters clean or consider installing gutter guards.
  • Repair any leaks immediately.

If you have a problem with oriental cockroaches or other pests, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.

When Is Lovebug Season?

When Is Lovebug Season?

This time of year you may have noticed those pesky black and red bugs flying around, especially while driving your car. These lovebugs, also known as honeymoon flies, kissing bugs, and double-headed bugs, are actually a type of march fly. They are an invasive species that came over from Central America and have now taken over the entire gulf coast, as well as all of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. So what should you know about these pests and when does lovebug season end?

Lovebugs are always around but because they spend most of their lifespan as larvae, we don’t notice them as much. We do see them more often during their swarming season which happens twice a year: once in late April and May and again in late August and September. During this time they mate which is why you usually see two of them attached while they’re flying.

Adult female lovebugs only live for 3 to 4 days during mating season. They connect to a male and must stick together at all times during this process. It can take up to 24 hours for the mating process to be complete. Males will swarm in areas they know females will be near. The females then fly into these swarms, which are commonly seen in the morning (around 8:00 to 10:00 am) and the late afternoon/evening (around 4:00 to 5:00 pm).

Lovebugs are attracted to exhaust fumes from cars, lawnmowers, and other engines. They are also attracted to heat and light colored surfaces. For these reasons they are especially common near highways and other high traffic areas.

While they can be a nuisance, lovebugs can actually be beneficial to have around. Lovebug larvae convert plant material into organic substances that the plants then use as a food source. They are difficult to get rid of as pesticides are ineffective against them and they have very few natural predators. Lovebugs aren’t dangerous to humans. They cannot bite or sting, cannot transmit diseases, and aren’t poisonous. They will leave white splatter on your vehicle, which are actually their eggs.

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent lovebugs, there are a few things you can try to help make lovebug season more manageable.

  • Use fans on high speed, especially in outdoor areas. This keeps the lovebugs from being able to find a comfortable spot to land.
  • Keep your lawn mowed. Lovebug larvae grow in thatch; mowing your lawn helps reduce areas they can breed.
  • Keep your car clean. Wash your car frequently during lovebug season. You can also get a fresh wax job right before the season starts. This helps keep them from sticking to your car and also keeps them off after they accumulate.
  • Wear dark colored clothing outdoors. Lovebugs are attracted to light colored surfaces and will be less likely to bother you.
  • Time outdoor events for later in the day. Lovebugs are only active during the day. Try to plan any outdoor activities after sundown.
  • If all else fails, contact your local pest control company for an 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.

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