Summer Pest Advice; how to keep your home pest free
The summer heat is here to stay and pests are swarming! Depending on your area; you will may find ants, spiders, cat fleas, rodents, silverfish, cockroaches, yellow jackets and millipedes trying to enter your home. Our professional experts have provided the following tips for summer pest prevention. For more information on Terminix Service professional pest service, visit our pest control page.
The key to control is to find and treat these sources directly. In many cases, the services of a professional company, such as Terminix, are required to achieve long-term relief. In southern states where this cockroach lives outdoors, successful control involves treating the attic, crawl space, and exterior cracks in the home and finding and treating likely cockroach harborages over the entire property.
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.
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.
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.
Controlling a flea infestation successfully requires four steps:
- Preparation for treatment.
- Treatment of pets.
- Treatment of the inside premises.
- Treatment of flea activity sites outside.
Obviously, the pet is critical to minimizing flea infestations and regular grooming helps to limit fleas on the pet. For this reason, customers need to keep the pet groomed and treated with on-animal flea control products.
Step One. Any flea treatment will be less effective if the home is not prepared properly by completing the following steps:
- Remove all items, such as toys, clothes, and pet food from all floors.
- Remove all items from under beds and in the bottom of closets.
- Wash or replace pet bedding.
- Vacuum all carpets and rugs thoroughly, including beneath beds and upholstered furniture.
- Clean all wood, tile, and linoleum floors by sweeping and mopping.
- Clean concrete floors with soap and water in the garage,basement, or enclosed patio where pets rest or stay.
- Remove all pets including birds and reptiles. Cover fish tanks with a damp towel and turn off the air pump.
- Replace any pet bedding outdoors and make all shaded areas, crawl spaces, etc. available for treatment.
- Arrange to be out of the home for several hours until the treatment has thoroughly dried.
Step Two. The homeowner needs to arrange for treating the pet. A number of on-animal treatment products are now available. Treatment of pets should be done under the direction of a veterinarian.
Step Three. In homes that have an active flea infestation, a residual treatment combined with an insect growth regulator should be applied. A professional, like Terminix, can best accomplish this treatment by using specialized equipment. Efforts should be focused on the areas where pets rest or sleep. These are the sites where the most fleas will be located.
Step Four. Outside, treatment should be applied to shaded areas and beneath shrubs and decks where pets rest or sleep. Again, a professional has the right equipment to provide this treatment effectively.
The following actions will help in controlling millipedes:
- Reduce potential breeding sites and harborages next to and near the building.
- Keep mulch and heavy vegetation, such as ivy, away from the foundation.
- Seal cracks and holes in the home s exterior to prevent millipedes from entering.
- Millipede migrations may require repeated treatments to the exterior and to cracks in the outside of the affected building.
- Determine the area where millipedes are originating and remove the material in which they are breeding (e.g., leaf litter, mulch), if possible.
- Remember that total elimination of millipedes indoors may be impossible – especially when huge numbers are involved.
- Professional treatment, sealing cracks and holes, and removing breeding material should greatly reduce the numbers of millipedes.
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.
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.