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Fall Pest Advice

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Fall Pest Advice; how to keep pests from making your home theirs

With fall approaching, pests will be looking for a warmer place to call home. Depending on your area; you will may find ants, spiders, beetles, rodents, silverfish, cockroaches and moths trying to enter your home. Our professional experts have provided the following tips for fall pest prevention. For more information on Terminix Service professional pest service, visit our pest control page.

 

antAnt Infestations

Including: Argentine Ant, Carpenter Ant, Crazy Ant, and Odorous House Ant

Most ant infestations can be nearly impossible to control and eliminate without professional service. At best, regular treatments keep as few ants as possible from entering the home or business. General tips for limiting ant infestations include:

  • Eliminating piles of lumber, bricks or other debris that could serve as a nesting site for ants.
  • Store any firewood away from your home and remove any dead wood or wood scraps from around the foundation.
  • Keeping landscape mulch less than 2 inches thick and at least 12 inches away from foundations.
  • Ensuring the sprinkler system does not spray directly onto the foundation.
  • Sealing as many cracks in the building’s exterior as possible, and check crawl spaces for excess moisture.
  • Keeping tree and shrub branches trimmed to prevent touching the home.
  • Water from rain gutters should be directed away from your home and not be allowed to accumulate close to the foundation.

Considering re-landscaping to avoid using plants that are prone to aphids and similar insects. At the very least, treat such plants for aphids regularly. A tree/shrub company, such as TruGreen ChemLawn, can be helpful with this task.

 

antsFire Ant

Because of the health threat posed by fire ants, it is important to take steps to control the ants around the home and in the yard. Over-the-counter fire ant baits can be effective if properly used, but regular applications are necessary because the ants readily reinvade from neighboring properties. Employing the services of a professional company, such as Terminix Service is the best way to prevent fire ant infestations.

 

 

spiderSpiders

Sanitation is very important in reducing brown widow spiders around the home.  Reduce clutter, and routinely use a vacuum cleaner inside the home and garage to remove spiders, egg sacs, and webbing.  When finished, remove the vacuum bag and place in a sealed plastic bag for disposal.  Potential hiding places such as firewood, unused pots, building materials, and other debris should be moved away from the structure or disposed of.

  • Regular removal of spider webs is the best way to limit these spiders.
  • Sealing up cracks around windows and doors helps prevent their entry.
  • Switch exterior lights to the yellow “bug” light bulbs which attract fewer flying insects on which spiders feed.
  • Treatments to exterior spider nesting sites can help reduce the numbers of spiders when combined with an overall pest management program.

 

carpet beetleCarpet Beetle

Your Terminix service professional can rid your home of these pests, but there are a few steps you can take to protect your clothing until your fabric pest problem can be controlled:

  • Do not store boxes of clothes in the attic, garage or basement, if possible.
  • If clothing must be stored in boxes, thoroughly clean the boxes before storage and seal all corners and openings with tape.
  • Prior to storage, clean woolen and natural fiber clothing according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In closets, store natural fiber clothing items by covering them with individual plastic covers.
  • Consider storing clothing in large zippered plastic units.
  • Use mothballs to help deter fabric pests, but be aware that they may leave an odor that could require dry cleaning.

 

mouseRodents

Including House Mouse, Norway Rat and Roof Rat

The best way to avoid invasions of mice is to (1) provide as little harborage as possible that might attract rodents, and (2) seal as many holes and cracks in the outside of the home through which mice might enter. Follow these recommendations to help prevent rodents from seeking the shelter provided by your home:

  • Keep firewood stored as far from the home as possible and store it off the ground. During the winter, store only enough wood next to the house to burn every couple of days.
  • If possible, remove any piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc. If these are near the foundation of the home they serve as harborages to attract rodents. Once there, it is any easy step for rodents to enter the building itself.
  • Do not allow piles of leaves to accumulate next to the home’s foundation. This also serves as attractive harborage for rodents – mice in particular.
  • Seal any hole or crack larger than 1/4 of an inch. A good rule of thumb is that if a pencil can fit into it, a mouse could too. Large holes or cracks should be stuffed with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk or foam, otherwise rodents could chew through to enter.
  • Install good, thick weather-stripping on the bottom of all doors to prevent rodents from entering. The garage door may prove difficult to seal completely, so the door from the garage to the house must be sealed tightly.
  • The installation of one or two wind-up mousetraps in the garage can catch many mice as they enter. These traps can catch up to 15 mice with one setting. Ask your Terminix service professional for more information.
  • Remember, your Terminix service includes coverage of commensal rats and mice, and much of the service provided during the colder months is to inspect for signs of rodents and to maintain preventive control measures.

 

silverfishSilverfish

Silverfish can be very difficult to control, especially in those homes which have wood shake (shingle) roofs. Shakes hold moisture and permit surface molds to grow which serve as food for silverfish. Shake roofs are also very difficult to treat completely — to reach all the areas where silverfish can possibly live. In addition, silverfish often live in the soffits and behind the fascia board behind gutters. Individual silverfish then invade the interior of the home from this “reservoir” site. Compounding the problem in attics is blown-in insulation that prevents a professional from safely venturing into the attic to look for silverfish harborages. A professional should be consulted when silverfish are a regular problem. Areas that may require treatment include:

  • Voids where plumbing is located.
  • Voids behind electrical outlets.
  • Molding around windows and doorways.
  • The attic, crawl space and basement.
  • The soffits.

 

cockroachesSmoky Brown Cockroach

The best way to control smoky brown cockroaches is to determine the source and treat it directly, usually with a cockroach bait product. To keep these cockroaches from invading, the following steps are helpful:

  • Ensure the attic and/or crawl space has sufficient ventilation. Research has shown that proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling efficiency of the home.
  • Make sure that all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight-fitting screens.
  • Seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of the home.
  • Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight. Pick it up after outdoor pets are finished eating.
  • Store firewood as far from the house as possible, locating it off the ground and covering it with a tarp or plastic.
  • Eliminate piles of lumber and debris where cockroaches could harbor.

 

mothWebbing Clothes Moth

Your Terminix service professional can rid your home of these pests, but there are a few steps you can take to protect your clothing until your fabric pest problem can be controlled:

  • Do not store boxes of clothes in the attic, garage or basement, if possible.
  • If clothing must be stored in boxes, thoroughly clean the boxes before storage and seal all corners and openings with tape.
  • Prior to storage, clean woolen and natural fiber clothing according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In closets, store natural fiber clothing items by covering them with individual plastic covers.
  • Consider storing clothing in large zippered plastic units.
  • Use mothballs to help deter fabric pests, but be aware that they may leave an odor that could require dry cleaning.

 

yellow jacketYellow Jacket

The following precautions should be taken to prevent accidental stings:

  • When working in a garden or flowerbed, be aware of numerous wasps flying into and away from a single point in the garden or to a hole in the side of the house. This will usually indicate where a colony might be located.
  • Be careful when using powered lawn equipment, such as edgers, trimmers and mowers. Loud, vibrating noises disturb yellow jackets and may send them into an attacking frenzy.
  • Stay away from yellow jacket nests once you know where they are located.

If yellow jackets are seen entering and exiting a wall, DO NOT plug the hole. You will only force the wasps to find another way out. Sometimes they might actually eat through an interior wall and enter the house.