Take out the trash regularly; keep your house spotless; store your food in airtight containers: these are just a few of the things you can do to prevent pests from coming into your home. So what attracts cockroaches to a clean house? Cockroaches are extremely versatile pests. They have a very wide-ranging diet and will eat just about anything you can imagine. They have highly tuned water-finding senses and are experts at hiding. All of these adaptations allow them to survive in just about any environment. Roaches also pose health concerns to humans. They are known to carry diseases and can trigger allergies and asthma. They are also extremely hard to get rid of once you have cockroaches in the house. But how do cockroaches get in your clean house?
Some areas are more prone to cockroaches than others. The southeastern United States, especially Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, are home to a large population of American cockroaches (also known as palmetto bugs). If you live in these areas you can expect to see these pests in your home despite cleaning on a regular basis. Unlike German cockroaches, American cockroaches aren’t associated with unsanitary conditions. They may enter your home through a gap in a window seal or through a door that is left open for a prolonged period of time.
Roaches come into your home in search of three things: food, shelter, and water. They have also developed the ability to use even the smallest of openings as an entryway into your house. They can come in through cracks in the exterior walls, dryer vents, or even the gaps between walls and floors. Perform a thorough evaluation of the exterior of your home and seal any entry points you find.
Roaches need moisture to survive and this search for water will bring them into even the cleanest of homes. Leaky pipes and faucets are one of the most common attractants for cockroaches and is one of the main reasons you often see them in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. They will also hide out under refrigerators and air conditioning units to indulge in their condensation, and even drink from pets’ water bowls when left out overnight. Roaches love places that are dark and undisturbed so you can often find them in basements, in the dark corners of cabinets, and underneath large appliances, especially those that use water.
Roaches will seek out food sources wherever they can find them. Despite your best efforts to keep your kitchen spotless, these resilient pests will make do with just about anything to eat. In fact, they have been known to feast on cardboard, wallpaper paste, book bindings, grease, leather, soap, and even human hair. They can often be found hiding out in stacks of cardboard in your attic and garage, books that you’ve stored away for extended periods of time, and even behind pictures that have been hanging on the walls.
While these areas may not be in need of repair or even in plain sight, they can attract roaches and need to be addressed to prevent roach infestations. Roaches have been known to hide out in the spaces between outside doors and floors. They can get into your home through window screens that aren’t flush with the frame or that have rips or tears in them. They can also get in around air conditioning units that don’t fit properly in windows, and into trash cans that aren’t cleaned regularly, even the ones in your bathrooms.
Roaches will come into your yard in search of the same things as your home: food, shelter, and water. You can harbor as many roaches in your yard as you do in your home. Any standing water in places like bird baths, flower pots, and gutters will attract cockroaches. Compost and wood piles provide food and shelter. Trash and recycling bins provide an excellent food source. Leaf litter, dense vegetation, and mulch or pine straw provides ideal hiding places.
Roaches are versatile pests that are extremely hard to get rid of once they get into your home. There are some roach prevention steps you can take to help keep them from invading your house:
- Seal any cracks around your home.
- Repair any water leaks.
- Remove any sources of standing water.
- Try not to overwater houseplants.
- Wipe down your kitchen counters after every meal.
- Put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher or wash them immediately after using them instead of leaving them in the sink overnight.
- Wipe down your stove after cooking.
- Sweep daily and vacuum weekly.
- Keep firewood and compost as far away from your home as possible.
- Keep your grass and landscaping neat and tidy.
It can be frustrating to work hard at keeping your house clean and still have issues with roaches. If you have a roach problem or if you want to get a prevention program started before they become a problem, call a professional pest control company who can provide you with a customized pest control program using only the most innovative and advanced pest products and equipment available. Give us a call or request a free estimate to get started.
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Ladybugs are said to be a sign of good luck, but when you start to find them crawling all over the inside of your home, you don’t feel as lucky.
Ladybugs, or Asian Lady Beetles, are just one of the pests that will try to use your home for overwintering. Overwintering is the process of insects passing the winter season, and your home poses as the ideal habitat for this practice.
Temperatures drop, and pests such as house spiders, boxelder bugs, ladybugs, millipedes, stink bugs, and even smokybrown roaches, will make their way in your home to hide during the cold weather. Come spring, these pests will emerge in and around your home in MASSIVE numbers.
The best preventive measures to stop overwintering pests, luckily enough, are DIY!
- Seal entry points around doors and windows. Also, look for any cracks and crevices to seal.
- Invest in weather-stripping around your home.
- Use yellow bulbs for outdoor lighting; these pests are attracted to light, and this will help deter them.
- Utilize a vacuum for removal; both stink bugs and ladybugs will leave behind foul odors or liquid when smushed.
If you feel you have an issue with any of these overwintering pests, call you licensed pest professional to schedule an inspection right away.
As summer approaches we kick off the start of vacation season. We’ll soon be taking advantage of warm weather, sunshine, and school getting out to take off to the beach, camping in the mountains, or just visiting out of town relatives. But people aren’t the only ones hitting the road – pests take advantage of our travels to hitch a ride back home with us too! What can you do to keep these pests from turning your home into an insect’s paradise? Check out these tips to keep your home pest free this summer.
In The Car:
Bed bugs, fleas, ticks, spiders, and roaches like to catch a ride with you from destination to destination, especially on road trips.
- Keep car windows closed as much as possible when you’re on the road, especially when you drive through wooded areas.
- Keep the interior of your car clean and dehumidified.
- Clean up any food and drink spills immediately.
- When you arrive at your destination check the sheets, carpet, curtains, and bathrooms for any signs of pests.
- Elevate your bags in the room and keep them sealed tightly when they’re not in use.
- Check your socks and the inside of your shoes every morning before you put them on.
On A Plane:
Silverfish, bed bugs, and even moths can hitch a ride in your suitcase. You can pick these up in hotels, your relatives’ homes, and even in the airport.
- Keep your bags sealed when you’re not using them, whether it’s in a hotel, in your car, in the airport, or on a plane).
- Wash and dry your clothes as soon as you get home.
- Don’t keep food in your carry-on bags.
- Don’t take any trash off the plane when you disembark.
- Once you unpack, put your bags in the dryer for at least 20 minutes.
- Inspect everything you bring home for pests, even after you wash and dry it.
In The Woods:
Camping is one of the most challenging environments for pest control. Let’s face it – pests live outdoors!
- Keep your food in sealed containers and make sure to store them at least 10 feet from your camp site and at least 8 feet in the air.
- Make sure you store your firewood at least 20 feet away from your camp site.
- Seal your sleeping bags inside your tent when you’re not using them.
- Check your sleeping bags for pests every night before getting in them.
- Sleep under a mosquito net.
- Wear bug spray.
- Dispose of any food scraps immediately.
- Wash and dry all of your things as soon as you get home, including your tent, your sleeping bags, your clothes, and even yourself).
- Check your whole body, especially any skin folds for ticks.
In Someone’s Home:
One place we don’t often think about picking up unwanted pests is in the homes of our relatives. Pests, however, don’t discriminate – they can be found in even the cleanest of homes.
- Inspect the furniture where you’re staying as soon as you arrive for signs of pests.
- Change the sheets upon arrival.
- Don’t hang your clothes up in the closet.
- Elevate your bags and keep them tightly sealed when they’re not in use.
- Wash and dry your clothes and bags immediately when you get home.
If you suspect a pest problem when you get back from vacation, contact a pest control professional for a thorough inspection.
Just like the weather changes with each season, so do the pests that we see. Some pests prefer warmer weather and peak in spring and summer while other pests will surge in the winter as they come inside to get out of the cold. The ways that you prepare your home will depend on what time of year it is and what pests you are preparing for. We have provided you with a few of the most common pests for each season so you can be better prepared all year long.
Springtime brings about an increase in temperatures, the melting of ice, and the blooming of flowers. These warmer temperatures bring many pests out from their winter hiding places. As these animals emerge they will have one thing on their minds – food and water! Spring is also mating season for many species. Here are some common spring pests to look out for:
- Ants: Ants forage for food in warmer weather. As the temperatures increase, ants will venture farther and farther from their colonies in search of food. This will eventually drive them into our homes. The heavy rains in spring also drive ants out of their colonies in search of higher ground.
- Termites: Spring is the start of termite season as they leave their nests to mate and start new colonies. This is also known as “swarming.”
- Mosquitoes: Heavy spring rains provide the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will increase their activity in spring in preparation for their peak season which is summer.
- Flies: Flies reach maturity at the beginning of spring. Once they mature, they will flock to areas that humans inhabit as they look for food. They prefer liquids and other sweet foods.
- Spiders: Spiders become active in the spring as they search for food. The increase in insect activity as they wake from their winter slumber provides ample opportunities for spiders to feed.
- Stinging Insects: Stinging insects include bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. These insects wake up from their dormant stage in the spring and they become more active. Spring is the start of their mating season as they seek to establish their nests and breed.
- Bed Bugs: Although bed bugs are a year round problem, their populations can spike in springtime because of the increased travel for Easter and spring break from schools.
While we get somewhat of a break from pests in the summer months, there are a few species who peak during this hot season. Summer is typically the time in many pests’ life cycles where they are maturing and are less of a threat to humans. Here are some common summer pests:
- Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are the most common summer pest. The warmer temperatures allow mosquitoes to move through their life cycle faster which means they lay more eggs in the summer months. The summer rains also provide the ideal setting for mosquitoes to breed.
- Stinging Insects: Stinging insects reach their highest populations in the summer. They will often build their nests in any openings in your house, under overhangs or in the ground near your foundation.
- Ants: Ants continue to be a nuisance in the summer. As the rains continue through the season, ants will continue to seek shelter in higher ground. They will also continue to forage into our homes in search of food.
- Flies: Flies are most active in the summer months. This is also their peak breeding season. Flies will spawn in animal waste, garbage, and rotting foods.
- Termites: Termites are most productive in the summer. This is the season when they continue to consume wood while the queen continues to lay eggs and build their colonies.
- Bed Bugs: Once again, bed bugs are year round pests. Many populations thrive in the summer months because of an increase in travel during summer break from school.
Fall brings about cooler temperatures. This is the time of year when pests start to prepare for the upcoming winter. Many pests will start to seek warmth and shelter inside our homes. Here are some common fall pests:
- Cockroaches: Cockroaches are some of the most common fall pests. Cockroaches cannot survive in colder temperatures so fall is when we see them start to migrate indoors in search of shelter and warmth. Cockroaches are known to hide near pipes and drains. They can spread disease and exacerbate asthma.
- Spiders: Spiders are also common in the fall for the same reasons as cockroaches. They will move indoors to avoid the harsh colder temperatures, as well as in search of food as many of the flying insect populations decline as the weather cools. Spiders also breed in the fall so activity will increase as males go in search of mates.
- Rodents: Rodents are another common fall pest. Rodents will migrate indoors as the weather cools in search of warmth, shelter, food, and water. Rodents not only spread disease but will also chew through wood supports and electrical wires in your home.
- Fleas: With rodents come fleas. Fleas flourish in warmer weather so as the weather cools, we see their populations indoors thrive. Fleas will hitchhike into your home on both your pets and any other wildlife that come into your home in the fall.
- Stinkbugs: Stinkbugs become a nuisance in the fall. Stinkbugs are known for emitting an extremely foul odor when they feel threatened. Stinkbugs are also considered a serious threat to agriculture as they can cause significant damage to crops.
While many pests hibernate or become dormant over the winter, don’t relax just yet! There are still many pests that we see in larger numbers in the winter months as they make their way into our home to avoid the harsh cold weather. Here are some common winter pests:
- Rodents: Rodents are the most common pests we see in the winter. Rats, mice, and squirrels will invade our homes in search of a warm place to stay and an ample supply of food and water.
- Roaches: While most cockroach species die off in the winter, Oriental roaches and German roaches are still active during this time of year. They seek dark, damp areas which are prevalent in the wintertime.
- Bed Bugs: Once again, bed bug populations are active year round but they often flourish during the winter months as these are some of the busiest travel times of the year.
As you can see, no two pests are alike and no two seasons are alike. In the same manner, one universal pest control method won’t work for different pests or for different seasons. It is important to know which pests thrive during which seasons so that you can better prepare your home year round to prevent an invasion. If you suspect that you have a pest problem in your home, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and set you up with a comprehensive treatment plan.
You may be noticing the bees buzzing more than they were a few weeks ago. Why? (Hint: it’s not to ruin your outdoor fun or to sting you) Some species of bees, like honeybees for example, are preparing for winter by collecting nutrients for their colony via late-blooming flowers. Wasps can also be more active (or noticeable) this time of year, when they change up their usual diet of insects for sweeter, more carbohydrate-rich foods. Since bees are beneficial insects, the best way to prevent stings is by avoiding them. If you have an unusual amount of bee activity around your home, contact a wildlife removal company for recommendations.
Cockroaches may start moving indoors when the weather gets cooler in search of food, water, and warmth. The best way to prevent an infestation in your home is with proactive roach control: eliminate or reduce food and water sources and get rid of hiding places by de-cluttering and keeping a clean house. Fix any plumbing leaks, store leftover food and dog food in storage containers, take out the trash daily, and seal or correct any gaps, cracks, or crevices that roaches can use to gain access into your home. If you’re seeing several roaches of varying sizes, you may have a roach infestation. Resist the urge to use OTC sprays as these are only on-contact killers and won’t prevent roaches from reproducing. Contact an exterminator for a pest control plan that will include a thorough inspection and quarterly or monthly treatments.
You may notice an influx of varying kinds of beetles in the Fall months as these overwintering pests are preparing for hibernation. Common fall beetles include ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and stink bugs. These types of pests often resist traditional treatments with pesticides so it’s best to vacuum up the ones you see inside your home and take measures around your home to prevent more from coming inside. They’ll gather near the warmest areas of your home, usually on the south and west-facing sides. Especially around these areas, check to be sure there aren’t any openings or gaps around windows and doors and, if there are, correct these issues to keep beetles out.
Like other rodents and pests, mice are searching for food and warmth in cooler weather, making your home a welcoming environment. Keep them out by rodent-proofing: seal gaps or openings around your home’s exterior and around plumbing, make sure outdoor vents are covered, repair any holes or tears in window screens or door screens, install weatherstripping around doors, clear out plants, leaves or any other vegetation that may be touching or near your home’s exterior, clean up any yard debris, and de-clutter inside the house. You can also use glue boards in less-traveled areas, like basements and attics, as a proactive approach to mice control.
Knocking down cobwebs only to find another one in it’s place the next day? You’re not alone. For some species of garden spiders, like the orb weaver, now is when they are at their largest, making them more noticeable, and females are laying eggs before they die. Since spiders are beneficial insects and can reduce the amount of other pests around your home, try and resist the urge to knock down their webs outside. If you’re seeing spiders in the house, contact an exterminator for pest control recommendations.