Termites are known to cause significant and expensive home and property damage each year. These pests can easily go undetected for a long period of time and, in return, cause substantial damage to your property. Dealing with termites can be a huge undertaking and while you should always reach out to a professional if you have been infested with them, you can take steps to help prevent an invasion.
Subterranean termites need an abundant amount of water to survive. These pests will seek out moist and wet areas in or around your home for a new colony site. It’s extremely important to check for any leaky faucets, pipes, and appliances inside your home. Additionally, storm drains should be directed away from your house and draining at least a few feet from your home’s foundation. Making sure there is no available moisture is an easy way to prevent a termite infestation and subsequent damage.
Beware the Mulch!
Mulch can be a great tool to landscape your yard, but not many know that it can attract termites right into your home! Mulch, which is comprised of wood chips, can retain moisture, making it a perfect food source for termites. If you do decide to use mulch, try to keep at least a 4-inch barrier between the mulch and the side of your home. Along with mulch, try to keep shrubbery, lumber, and wood away from the foundation of the house.
Inspecting your own home is probably the easiest way to prevent termites. Since termites like to consume wood, check for wood damage throughout your home. When wood is damaged it will make a hollow or papery sound when tapped on. Periodically check the exterior of the home. Maintaining your home’s wood siding and window frames help prevent termites from sneaking in. Some signs you have termites are blistering sheetrock, mud tunnels, cracks in the foundation, and discarded termite wings.
If you’ve determined that termites have infested your home, it’s best to call a professional. A local pest control company can provide you with an inspection and the best plan of action for termite control.
Fruit flies are a nuisance in homes! That’s the bottom line! They seem to come out of nowhere and are extremely hard to get rid of. But the truth is, they don’t come out of nowhere…they come from up to miles away when they have smelled the scent of ripening fruit and vegetables. Because they are so small they are able to fit through even the tiniest of openings to get inside your home and to the fermenting fruit.
“Well that’s easy enough”, you say, “just throw away the fruit once you’ve seen fruit flies”…it’s not that easy. Fruit flies are fast reproducers! Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time and their entire life cycle only takes 8-10 days. This makes them difficult to control once they have infested your home. It’s not just the fruit they are after, they can also lay their eggs in sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, garbage bags, and even damp mops and sponges.
Getting rid of fruit flies is difficult but it’s not impossible. By following some simple steps you can rid your home of fruit flies and ensure that they don’t return.
How to get rid of fruit flies:
- The first step is to remove the sources of attraction like fruits and vegetables.
- Remove breeding sources by throwing away old sponges and mops, and cleaning out dish drains.
- Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator rather than on the counter tops.
- Wipe down sides and bottom of trash cans for any debris that may have spilled over.
- For smaller infestations you can choose to try a DIY approach to eliminating fruit flies. Using a glass of some sort (jar or wine bottle) put a slice of banana or apple cider vinegar at the bottom of the glass and stick a paper funnel out of the top of the glass. The flies will enter the glass in search of the food source but will be unable to get out. After a few hours, seal the glass and throw away…the fruit flies should be gone.
- When DIY tricks don’t work…call the experts at Northwest Exterminating. A professional pest control company will be able to target the living fruit flies as well as the eggs. They will help you find the source of your problem and help you to control the issue.
There is a whole market for people who like to do it yourself. I am one of them. I enjoy the occasional weekend project around the house like painting, fixing a leaky faucet, or changing out fixtures. However, there are some do it yourself projects that are just not for me. I don’t touch wires, I don’t clean high chandeliers, and I don’t clean out gutters (thank goodness Northwest Exterminating does). Those are the tasks that I leave for the professionals.
In the recent years of the down economy, we have witnessed more people resorting to a do it yourself method of getting rid of bugs. There are certain situations where we agree that do it yourself is a good alternative to hiring an exterminator. If you spot a single bug such as a fly, yellow jacket, or ant, there is usually no need for a professional pest control company to come to your home. But if you spot a termite, a bed bug, or any other insect that can cause damage to your family or your home, it is necessary to call an exterminator.
There are certain things that need to be considered when deciding to DIY or hire a professional:
o DIY – A trip to the store and the purchase of chemicals is typically less expensive than hiring a pest control company.
o Professional – Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative. If the in store pesticides are not effective they may result in the growth of your pest control problem. Continuing to buy in store products can get expensive. Not to mention the potential damage to your home that pests can cause.
o DIY – When doing it yourself, you can go to the store, purchase the pest control product, and apply it at your own convenience.
o Professional – It can be a pain to find a time that is convenient for both you and your exterminator to meet at your home for a treatment. More often than not, this is at the inconvenience of the customer. However, a good exterminator will work with the homeowner to schedule the best time for them.
o DIY – The instructions are on the label. Not only can information be found on the label but it is very easy to go to the internet and do a research on the particular product or insect. Be sure that all instructions are followed exactly as listed on the package.
o Professional – An experienced and knowledgeable exterminator will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem. They are also able to answer any questions that you have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing. Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than just reading the instructions on a label.
o DIY – Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk. Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area. This is not to scare you but to remind you that we cannot stress enough the importance to read all instructions and follow all directions listed on the product label.
o Professionals – By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable pest control company, most risk is removed from the homeowner. Be sure to read all contracts and get reviews from past customers before hiring a pest control company.
o DIY – For small pest problems, store bought exterminating products can oftentimes be effective. For a bigger infestation, it can be more difficult with store bought products. Pests are adaptable creatures and can get become immune to certain chemicals after a certain amount of time.
o Professionals – A reliable pest control company will have up to date information and products to treat your infestation.
o DIY – Depending on the store and product, you can return a product. Check your local store return policies before purchasing.
o Professionals – Always ask about a company’s policies before hiring them to treat your home. Will they return to your home for no charge if your issue is not solved? Do they offer warranties on their work? A good exterminating company will.
When trying to decide if you should tackle your pest control problem, consider the list above. For a small infestation, do it yourself is a good option that can be inexpensive. For larger infestations or a continuing problem, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and call a professional exterminator. As always, the key to pest control is prevention. For pest prevention tips visit this blog.
If you have a pest or termite issue in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating.
What kind of do-it-yourself projects do you enjoy?
Have you ever tried to do-it-yourself and had to call in the professionals?