Home Repairs You Should Make to Prevent Pest Issues

Your beautiful home needs to be as pest free as possible! This includes, of course, nature’s insects, rodents, and other creatures as much as avoiding human pests. Obviously, if there are simple repairs and prevention which you can do which will prevent any infestations. What kind of home repairs can you do which can prevent pest issues?

Seal Entry Areas

Sealing entryways into your home might seem like a thing which is more for weather than for pests, but the same concepts apply to both. Anyplace air (cold or hot) is entering your home is also probably an area that insects and rodents can also enter. Remember, rodents can go anywhere their faces fit, which includes incredibly small areas. Likewise, using weatherproofing around windows and doors, making sure that they are sealed off from outdoor air will not only help prevent infestation, but also possibly lower the cost of your electric bill!

Clean the Gutters

Year after year your gutters fill with leaf trash, which is exactly what they are for! Unfortunately, if you don’t clean out your gutters, this leaf trash begins decomposing and creates a beautiful environment for pests. Cockroaches and earwigs, for example, specifically live in leaf trash and decomposing plant material. Since that’s their favorite thing and their best-case hotel, you want to make those spaces inhospitable. Kick them out of their new colonies before they begin. Likewise, filled gutters shelter mice, birds, and even snakes! Cleaning your gutters is a simple fix which, though annoying, takes little time, but which can eliminate that ecosystem for pests.

Trim Your Tree Branches

It can seem benign to have a large tree shadowing over your home, with branches stretched far and wide. But, if that tree is touching your home or sharing insects and rodents into it, it can be more like a nice superhighway to get pests to your roof. This includes things like squirrels and crawling insects, of course, but of special concern are, of course, termites. You don’t want anything which bores into and eats wood to live in your home. By trimming tree branches, it can make their route more difficult to get into your house.

Fix Cracked Concrete

Concrete paving can be expensive because it needs to be thick. But, repairing concrete properly is essential to your home. Besides pill bugs and other harmless insects, there are other insects, like boring ants, which can enjoy drilling into your home through small cracks. When it comes to rodents, they are capable of crawling through such tiny areas, so using strong caulking and concrete repair when needed is essential. Your foundation is crucial to the health and safety of your home, and keeping it strong should be a priority, regardless of cause. Preventing bugs as well is a great side benefit!

Add and Repair Screens

Screens can prevent pests, especially the flying kind, from entering your home. It can be easy to neglect screen repairs over time, especially in rooms which are little used or which belong to children. There are simple patches which you can use, or even sew in, for small rips and tears. For larger holes, there are repair kits and even classes on how to replace screens in your windows to make sure they are ready to protect your family from flying, biting bugs, and the diseases they can carry. Consider adding a screen door to all outside doors, to be able to enjoy the lovely spring and fall air without allowing more insects inside.

Maintain Your Yard

Your yard has a good amount of function, positive and negative, of what insects and rodents are comfortable living within it. It’s important to not keep debris in your yard of any kind, and to keep it well trimmed. Likewise, you need to keep bushes and trees well trimmed from being near the house itself. These things help keep insects, rodents, and even snakes from feeling secure living next to your home’s foundation, and perhaps finding a way inside. Ticks are of particular concern. Getting rid of plants they love, like barberry bushes, can help protect your family from illness from Lyme disease.

Store Trash Properly

You know that composting debris is delicious to bugs, mice, and other pests. If you want to prevent trash from being a buffet for bringing pests inside, storing it properly is key. Outdoor garbage cans should be emptied frequently, ideally weekly, and rinsed when they are in need. They should be stored away from the main body of the house. If your neighborhood will not allow them to be stored away from the house without being covered, there are simple structures you can build to cover and protect your bins. This also prevents racoons and rats from feasting in your trash.

Encourage Healthy Predators

There are beneficial predators which you want in your yard, though, which can help out with issues. Many native and natural plants can help encourage predator insects, and those are the kinds you want! While you might want to encourage orb weaver and other beneficial spiders in your yard to help prevent insects, it’s ok to dust off the eaves of your house to get rid of webs and debris. You can purchase ladybugs and praying mantis egg cases at local tractor supply centers in the springtime. Both your outdoor plants and your indoor self will appreciate the lack of insect infestation! They might seem odd looking, but opossums eat thousands of ticks daily, and lizards, cockroaches, and other pests. Don’t forget they’re your friends.

To keep your home beautiful inside and out is important. To prevent and eliminate infestation from bugs, rodents, and other pests is also extremely important. When you work hard to seal up exposed spaces, cracks, and other entryways into your home, it begins to limit that superhighway for bugs straight into your kitchen. By preventing leaf debris and trash around the home, and storing your trash cans away from the house, this further discourages large pests near your lovely home.

Read this next: How to Enjoy Your Backyard Space Free of Pests

How to Recover Your Home After Termite Damage

No one wants to have to deal with termite damage, but it can happen in pretty much any home. The main thing to remember is that once it is over you can recover your home and make it into the livable place it always was for you before. You just need to know what you need to do to get things back into shape. Here are a few tips that will help you return your home to its former glory after experiencing termite damage. 

Make Sure Termites Are Gone 

Before you can do anything to start recovering your home after termite damage, you have to make sure the termites are gone. Sometimes when you discover termite damage it will be inactive which basically means that the termites are no longer present. In other cases, there will be termites currently damaging your property. An inspector will be able to tell the difference and they will be able to direct you in how to get rid of termites if they are currently active. Once you are sure the termites are gone, you can actually take steps to start improving your home and recovering from the damage that they inflicted

Patch Up What You Can 

Once the termites are taken care of, it’s time for you to start working on patching up whatever you can. While some things will be a quick and easy patch job, other elements will need to be entirely replaced so your home can be as structurally sound as possible. This is where it is very important to work with an expert, so you know that things are being put back together in a safe and sound manner. With their guidance you can determine what things need to be replaced and which areas can simply be patched. With your patching and replacing taken care of you will be ready to start on the next step of the process. 

Redo Your Floors 

With the patching taken care of you generally need to start worrying about redoing your flooring. This gives you an opportunity to update the style of your floors to better match with your preferences. Sometimes your floors will be in good enough condition that they can simply be resurfaced, but in other cases you may need to replace them entirely. When you are looking at flooring options make sure to consider how you use each space and the kind of flooring that will work best for your needs. Carpeting can work great in some situations while vinyl flooring or hardwood is a better option in other situations. 

Replace Cabinets 

Your cabinetry may also need to be replaced, which is an expense, but it is worth it to make sure that you replace it with beautiful and high-quality options. Custom cabinets add more value than your standard stock cabinets. You can also make sure that your new cabinetry is more functional than what you previously had. For example, if you were lacking storage before, try to add even more cabinets and maybe even an island to make your kitchen space more usable. Making decisions like this will help you to get your home into even better shape than it was in before. 

Repainting Your Walls 

When you have made all of your repairs to the interior of your walls and replaced your drywall, you just need to start repainting. You can stick to the colors your space used to be painted in, or you can make a change and choose something completely new. Just make sure that you choose the right colors for each space so that it feels appropriate for the activities you are doing in each particular area. Soft muted colors are good for bedrooms while brighter colors are better in living areas and the kitchen. You also want to make sure that you choose paint with a little bit of shine for areas with high moisture content. 

Replacing Trim 

You will also want to take steps to replace any trim that was damaged by the termites or removed to find the termite damage. You can stick with the same type of trim or modernize with new trim. The most important thing is that you use consistent trim in your space so that there isn’t a weird transition from one kind of trim to another. If you choose a nice consistent trim, you can make the space look great. 

Checking Your Insurance 

While you are dealing with termite damage and making appropriate repairs, it is important that you talk to your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have. Sometimes your insurance policy will cover termite damage and the repairs you will need after the fact. If this is the case with your policy, it’s worth looking into making a claim so you can have your repairs covered. This step can help make the trouble of dealing with a termite infestation a little bit more manageable. 

Checking for Future Infestations 

Once you are done dealing with the termite situation you likely want to put it behind you forever, but it is generally a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of problems in the future. The earlier you catch an infestation the better it is and the less work you need to do to resolve the issue. So, even once you are done dealing with your current infestation, it is a good idea to keep a lookout for any signs that it is happening again. If you do see evidence of a new infestation, reach out to an inspector so they can help you to resolve the issue before it gets too horrible. 

Dealing with an infestation of termites is a horrible thing that nobody wants to deal with, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your enjoyment of your home. With the right repairs you can recover your space and start enjoying it once again. All it takes is a little work and investment into the right areas.

Read this next: How to Prepare for the Next Mosquito Season

How to Enjoy Your Backyard Space Free of Pests

Imagine planting a beautiful garden, or decorating a gorgeous patio, just to find a few months later that some critters have claimed the space as their new home. Backyards are perfect for relaxation usually, but no one feels relaxed when there are bunny holes in the ground or termites infesting the deck. To enjoy your backyard fully, follow these tips to be free of pests!

Get Pest Treatments

If you are already experiencing a serious infestation, the first and best method of ridding yourself of pests is to enlist professionals. Pest control businesses can prescribe and give treatments on your property, according to your problems and circumstances. A good exterminator can diagnose the problem properly, giving you a good idea of just how bad it really is. Ultimately, they will know which type of chemicals to use and can do so safely. If you’ve tried the DIY method with no lasting results or just don’t feel confident you know what to do, find a good pest control company in your area.

Keep Your Backyard Clean

What attracts pests? Food, of course—they need to survive like the rest of us, so if anything in your yard is edible to them, they’ll go after it and even take up residence if it’s a continual source of food. This means any trash you leave around should be picked up quickly, and food never left out even if it seems inedible to you. Also, keeping yourself from making the backyard a storage area really helps you avoid the bigger pests like mice and even cats, who like tight dark spaces to burrow in. If you have a shed, these principles are even more important as it can be much more vulnerable to intruders than a normal fortified house.

Use Candles

Ever heard of citronella? This substance and other bug repelling substances have ingeniously been converted into candles that you can put in your backyard. Often people set these out not only for their repellent qualities, but also to enjoy the ambiance of a late night in the outdoors while not getting distracted by swatting at mosquitoes! In the summertime especially they’re a must have. Also consider bug repelling essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and even peppermint—scents you will find relaxing or stimulating, but makes mosquitos run away!

Use Potted Plants

The list of plants that can naturally deter pests is endless—really, it just depends on what kind of pest you need to get rid of! Lavender, basil, lemon grass, rosemary, and mint are just a few examples of plants mosquitoes avoid. Then to repel snakes, there are marigolds, onion and garlic, just to get you started. Cayenne pepper and garlic are effective against mice eating your garden, and hyssop and columbine are two that deter rabbits. Once you’ve picked the right plants for your circumstances, plant them around areas you notice them and even pot them on places like your deck and patio. Then, with your home free of pests, you can enjoy gatherings on your deck and personal nights of relaxation!

Use LED bulbs

Enjoying yourself on a warm summer night can be impossible, if you want to see and not have to be swatting at insects swarming around your deck lights. Even low-light, decorative bulbs can make your deck a target for bugs that like heat and a cool, bluish color. For this reason, it’s smart to switch out any fluorescent or halogen bulbs you may have in your outdoor lighting with warm-colored or off white LED bulbs. Not only will the color detract the bugs, but the lack of heat that LED bulbs give off will disinterest most bugs from their aptitude for swarming.

Install a Fence

Fences are often to keep kids and pets in, but they are just as useful for keeping bigger pests out. If you are experiencing problems with deer chewing on your garden plants or cats burrowing into your outdoor storage, consider putting up a fence that they can’t jump over. If it’s your garden you’re specifically worried about, even making a vinyl fence with wood posts around your plants can do a great deal to get rid of garden trespassers.

Place a Bird Feeder

Believe it or not, welcoming birds into your backyard is actually a great way to decrease pests! This has all to do, of course, with the main source of diet for most birds, which is bugs. If you’re noticing problems with creepy crawlers in your garden, deck or patio area, or even along the foundations and cracks of your house, enlisting the help of your fellow bird friends will lessen the problem significantly. How to get them to come? Install a bird feeder or a bird bath in higher up areas that will tempt birds to investigate, and put them above problem areas in your yard that you could use a bird watching over.

Dispose of Compost Carefully

One of the main reasons people discover a mice, rat, or wasp problem is because they had a compost pile! How to stop the rat and mice compost problem? The first thing to make sure of is that you’re burying food waste very deep in the ground. Also make sure there are plenty of barriers keeping critters from the pile—like putting compost in a bin and having a tight lid. To stop underground burrowing, put wire mesh under the bin, which will still give worms room to get in! And of course take out the completed compost at least every six months so pests aren’t tempted to nest there.

 

When your backyard is clean, beautiful, and free of unwanted visitors, it can be a literal extension of your home. When you are dealing with pests, however, it feels more like a battlefield. To avoid the infestations and problems that arise from pests inhabiting your space, plant some preemptive methods to deter the critters, and be on the watch to nip small problems in the bud before pests think they live here too!

 

If you do have a pest problem, we can take care of it! Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Home Maintenance That Will Prevent Pest Issues from Occurring

Are you bugged by persistent pest issues? It doesn’t matter if you live in a dry or wet area, you’re bound to have pest problems wherever you go. They’ll just be of a different variety depending on the climate. Try out these different home maintenance techniques today that can help prevent even more pest problems from occurring.

Clean Regularly

Cleaning your home regularly is one of the best things that you can do to prevent further pest problems. Dusting regularly will prevent dust mites from gathering, but it will also help prevent spiders from using dusty corners to create their webs or other bugs from hiding in dusty areas. Make sure you sweep and vacuum floors and countertops often so you don’t encourage ants and other food-loving pests from gathering. Also, if you have parts of your house that remain untouched for a long time, such as a basement or attic, you may want to clean them and get rid of extra clutter so that you don’t have lots of centipedes and other bugs finding homes in your old storage boxes.

Remove Garbage from Your Kitchen

It should be pretty obvious that it is important to take out your kitchen garbage regularly. There is almost nothing that attracts pests as much as old, moldy food. Start today to take better care of your trash so you keep the pests away. Make sure that you’re not letting your kitchen garbage pile up or overflow, and take the proper time to sanitize your garbage can when you’ve disposed of the garbage. Now, remember that garbage doesn’t only refer to food residue and trash that needs to be disposed of. Garbage could also refer to old boxes, cookbooks, papers, or even dishes that never get used. If you have cluttered spaces in your kitchen that you rarely touch, chances are that bugs will be gathering there, as they have been able to remain undisturbed.

Clean Your Gutters

Believe it or not, having full and dirty gutters can also add to your pest problem. Especially after the fall and winter seasons, gutters can fill up with fallen leaves, dirt, twigs, and other residues. That residue is often frozen, wet, or moldy, which not only can damage your roof and home exterior but can also attract pests to the area. Make sure that you are vigilant of the state of your gutters. You might even want to invest in a gutter screen or guard if your problems persist. If you clean them regularly, you’ll be able to get rid of most pest problems in that area of your home.

Fix Your Roof

Your roof can be a prime hiding spot for lots of bugs and pests such as bees, wasps, ants, beetles, and even animals such as snakes, birds, raccoons, etc. When pests or animals decide to live on or on your roof, it can cause a lot of damage to the interior and exterior of your roof. If you notice that your roof has become worn down and has cracks or leaks, you want to be especially vigilant of pest infestations. If you experience frequent leaks, you may need to replace your roof to avoid serious issues.

Watch Your Windows

Have you ever noticed that dead bees and other bugs seem to collect in your window frames? Windows often have cracks where bugs can slip inside, especially since most windows are created to be opened. If you have an old house, you may want to redo the sealing on your window frames or replace your window screens to ensure that pests don’t find easy indoor access in your windows. You can even easily make a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent white vinegar which can be sprayed on and around your windows. Doing so on the inside and outside of your home will repel many bugs and spiders

Get Rid of Wood Piles

Having a woodpile near your home can cause huge pest problems. Often, bugs like termites and beetles love to live in wood piles since they are cold, dark, and concealed. You might even develop a problem with animals like snakes if your woodpile is big enough. It is important to get these kinds of wood piles away from your homes so you don’t encourage pests to gather there. However, you don’t need to fully abandon your nice winter wood-burning stove. If you live in an area where you need to have a woodpile, simply move the woodpile to a place that is further than 20 feet away from your home.

Clean Your Yard

Your yard will always have pest issues since it is outdoors, but there are some things that you can do to keep your yard clean and orderly that should help keep the pests to a minimum and prevent them from entering your home. Try to trim your grass regularly so you don’t attract ticks or unwanted rodents. Make sure that your plants are properly trimmed and cared for. Try to not let excessive debris like dead branches or leaves build up. If you have plants that grow quickly and spread over a large area, like groundcover, make sure that you use bug spray, since it will be the perfect place for pests to take cover.

Seal Gaps and Cracks

Check your home’s exterior and interior for gaps and cracks. These could occur around your roof and eaves, your deck and back door, your windows and balconies, or even where pipelines and wires enter your home. If you notice any cracks, no matter how small they are, make sure to seal them up quickly. Caulk or foam insulation that expands when applied are great solutions for sealing gaps and cracks.

The reality is, pests can be a big problem for you, no matter what time of year it is. However, you can start trying out these different maintenance techniques today to prevent pest infestation more quickly and successfully. Make sure that you figure out which techniques work best for your home and area and then make them a routine. Soon enough, all your indoor pest problems will be gone!

If you have a pest problem, contact us to get a free quote!

Common Places Pests May Be Hiding in Your House

Having pests in your home is a major problem because they may damage your home or even present a health risk to you and your family. Getting rid of pests is essential. If you want to effectively get rid of pests in your home, you need to be aware of the places they usually hide.

Behind Cabinets and Appliances

Some pests, especially small ones, will hide in any nook and cranny they can find. The problem with these is these little spots are areas you likely don’t check often such as behind your cabinets and appliances. Unfortunately, appliances are common hiding places for cockroaches and other bugs. Cockroaches are notorious for living in warm, moist places which can include your appliances. Getting rid of cockroaches in your appliances requires a thorough approach. Make sure you clean everything well and seal off any spots where cockroaches are getting into your home.

In Your Walls

Since your walls are hollow, they make the perfect hiding place for pests. Your walls can hold anything from rodents such as squirrels or mice to any number of insects. Fortunately, there are a few ways to tell when pests are living in your walls. One of the main signs is if you hear noises in the walls such as scratching. You can also tell if there are pests in the walls if you see signs of chewing, find droppings, or if there are strong smells. You need to inspect your home regularly so you can find out how pests are getting into your home and put a stop to it.

Beneath Your Floors

Your floors are another common hiding space. Typically, you will see insects inside the floors. One of the most common will be termites. Termites can damage the floors and wood in your home and even threaten the structural integrity. Unfortunately, termites are typically hard to see, and you often don’t know they’ve been there until the damage is already done. This is why it’s important to take preventative measures. If you do think you have termites, one way to check is if portions of wood in your home are soft and give way easily.

In Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is an essential part of your home, but it can become home to pests as well. This is especially true if it is not properly maintained. Pests can cause a problem in one of two ways. First, they can live in your HVAC system and cause problems through nesting or chewing. Second, some animals may simply become trapped in the system and die. Neither of these situations is ideal. To prevent damage and pests, you need to stay on top of your HVAC maintenance. You should be getting an HVAC inspection twice a year to check for damage.

Garage

The garage is easily accessible to pests because it is already exposed to the outdoors. It’s not hard for them to get in and the nature of certain garages can make it easy for them to stay. Garages appeal to pests partially because they are dark and there isn’t always a lot of activity. If pests find a food source in your garage they can be set for a while. You must secure and contain any trash or other materials pests might eat. Keeping your garage clean and organized can also help you keep out pests. If your garage is used for storage rather than for your cars, then it may be more prone to attracting pests.

Attic

The attic is a part of your home that often goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, this is not true for pests. Especially in the wintertime, your attic can be an appealing space because it is warm and there is little to no human activity. Pests can creep into your attic through cracks or holes along your roof.  They can also get in through the vents. Likely, you’ll mostly find insects in your attic since it’s easier for them to squeeze in. However, larger pests may find their way in as well. Whatever the situation may be, you should contact a professional rather than dealing with it on your own.

Crawl Space

The crawl space is an open space between the ground and your house. Pests are attracted to this area for many reasons. First of all, it usually attracts and holds moisture which provides pests with a water source. Additionally, they find plenty of food sources through the rotting wood and some pests even become food to larger ones. Second, a crawl space maintains a warm temperature year-round. This gives pests a cozy place to seek refuge during the winter. One of the main reasons you’ll see pests in your crawl space is because it is easy for them to access. To prevent pests from thriving here, it is a good idea to seal up your crawl space.

Under Sinks

Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, it’s likely pests will be found under your sinks. These areas are dark and moist which creates the perfect environment for many insects. Underneath sinks, they also have access to your pipe system. They can use this access to covertly move throughout your home. Pipes also lead to the outdoors. This may be how the pests got in originally. Additionally, pests can even be found living in drains. These pests can live off the moisture as well as anything you drop down the drain. It’s important that you clean and unclog your drain regularly to prevent insects from settling.

Finding pests in your home is always unpleasant. It’s unsanitary and, in some cases, even frightening. It’s important to know where pests like to hide. This can help you know where and how to take preventative measures as well as where to look if you suspect pests are in your home. Dealing with them quickly is essential to both the safety of your home and the health of your family.

Do you have a pest problem in your home? Let us get rid of them for you! Contact us to request a free quote.

How to Keep Pests From Ruining Your Landscape

As you’re getting into the swing of landscaping with summer around the corner, pests may be causing you some serious grief. And in all reality, pests tend to be the number one cause of landscape problems as well as general discomfort in your yard. So it’s essential that you think about the different strategies you can use to prevent them from making your yard their home.

Keep Your Grass Short

Keeping your grass short might be something you want to do anyway to best enjoy your lawn. But keeping your grass short has other benefits besides just making your backyard look well maintained. Long grass tends to attract a host of different pests because it serves as a great environment for them to grow and thrive.

Keeping your grass short will eliminate these pests in your yard which will also help ensure that you have fewer pests close to your home that could start to try and invade you there.

Trim Trees

As you think about your routine yard maintenance, you should add trimming trees to your list of tasks in addition to mowing your lawn regularly. Trimming your trees not only keeps them healthy and strong by helping you ensure that the strength of the tree goes toward the solid branches, but it also helps you prevent pests and insects from lodging themselves in your different trees.

It’s particularly important to trim any dead, dying, or infected branches quickly because these branches tend to attract different pests who may try to enter the interior of the tree from that entry point.

Use Weed Control

Using weed control throughout your yard is important to generally prevent pests from overtaking your landscaping and your yard in general. Make sure that you think carefully about the type of weed control you go with. Certain types address certain problems; getting the wrong type could accidentally result in killing your beautiful plants. It’s also important that you adapt your weed control approach to different parts of your yard.  

When it comes to your garden, it’s particularly important to adopt the right approach to weed control because successful plant growth is paramount. A great way to prevent weeds from overtaking your garden is to use mulch. Mulch helps keep the soil moisture and temperature at good levels. It also helps provide an oasis to many different forms of useful insects like earthworms that enrich your soil even more.

Clean Up Debris Piles

Debris piles are a bad thing for your yard regardless of what angle you look at it. Having piles of debris not only looks bad and can smell bad, but they tend to attract pests. Bugs can lodge themselves within the different crevices and will typically find the nutrients they need to survive and thrive in the moist environment. Simply eliminating these from your yard will eliminate a host of pest problems that could multiply if not taken care of promptly.

Eliminate Standing Water

One of the biggest things that attract pests is standing water. Why? Because water provides pests with virtually everything they need—a place to lay their eggs, nourishment to keep them alive, and a habitat to live in.

If you have areas in your yard or even on your lawn that tend to accumulate water, figure out a way to drain those areas. This might involve being particularly vigilant at draining the area after you water the lawn or after it rains. It might also involve more intensive landscape remodels to eliminate the problem areas in the first place. This might seem like a pain, but ultimately, it will be beneficial.

Pay Attention to Shaded Areas

In addition to paying particular attention to areas where you have standing water, you should also pay attention to shaded areas of your yard. Shade can add so many benefits when it comes to the enjoyability of your outdoor space, but it can also quickly become a spawning place for pests like mosquitoes.

The reason for this is because cooler spaces tend to allow moisture to build up and that moisture tends to take longer to dry up. Just as pests love standing bodies of water, they also love moist cool places. So, either figure out a way to eliminate some of the moisture in those areas or spray those areas more fully with pest control spray.

Store Pet Food Indoors

Another important thing to think about when it comes to preventing pests from messing up your landscape is how you store any pet food. Storing pet food outdoors tends to attract pests like rats and raccoons. And when they come to gnaw at your bag of pet food, they often will destroy some of your landscape in their wake.

Making the simple decision to store your pet food inside your home or at least in your garage can help prevent this type of destruction from occurring. Be sure to put the pet food in a container intended to prevent the food from going rancid and that helps limit the smell from attracting any pests.

Choose Pest Repellant Plants

In addition to placing your pet food in a dry location indoors, you should also think about the plants that you have in your yard. Certain varieties of plants may attract mosquitoes and other pests if their leaves or flowers tend to hold water well. These little pools of water can become a place of growth for these pests.

So, eliminate these types of plants if possible. Additionally, think about adding plant varieties that repel pests. For example, plants like basil and mint tend to drive mosquitoes away.

Figuring out how to transform your yard into an outdoor oasis can seem like a Herculean task from the outset. And trying to make sure that your yard is pest-free doesn’t make it any easier. But make sure that you incorporate at least some of these suggestions otherwise your hard work at creating a beautiful space might be ruined by pests who eat at your plants or destroy your landscaping.

If you do have a pest problem in your home, we can take care of it for you! Get a quote from us here.

How to Prepare for the Next Mosquito Season

If the itchy, red welts aren’t enough motivation to protect your home against mosquitos, then maybe this will: Mosquitos are known as one of the deadliest creatures on the planet in that they are primary disease carriers, including terrible mosquito-born illnesses like dengue and malaria. Protect you, your family, and your loved ones from mosquitos by preparing early to eradicate these little critters with a small bite but big effect.  

Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water breeds mosquitoes—literally. Unless you want swarms of mosquitoes during your family barbeque, you will want to eliminate any standing water around your home. This may include birdbaths and yard décor, broken gutters, flower pots, swimming pools, or potholes in the driveway, as well as pools of water around your yard.

If you are experiencing frequent flooding in your yard, it may be due to an easily-saturated subsoil. For example, clay and peat are types of subsoil that tends to absorb water and then expand, leading to increased pressure and flooding. In order to eliminate this problem, try soil correction. Soils like granite, asphalt, or conbit tend to drain easier, reducing excess moisture and puddles where mosquitos like to hang.    

Stock Up on Repellants

Personal repellants can be helpful protectants against mosquitos but, for better results, make sure you don’t forget to treat your whole yard with repellents as well. One great option is Thermacell. Thermacell works by releasing allethrin and can repel mosquitos in a 15-foot radius. If you want something a bit more concentrated, there are plenty of EPA-registered chemical sprays that you can use in your yard. However, if you aren’t as comfortable with harsh chemicals, you can always try mosquito repellent candles or lanterns.   

Get Air Moving

Air currents are great ways to disperse swarms of mosquitoes and keep them from ruining your outdoor gathering. A great way to create air currents are ceiling fans. Not only are outdoor ceiling fans helpful in keeping everyone cool during the warm months, but they can control your blood-sucking pest population by scattering the little critters. After all, the wind current requires that mosquitos spend greater amounts of energy flying against the current, depleting their ability to literally get under your skin.

As you prepare for the next mosquito season, don’t forget to eradicate excess water, apply mosquito repellants in your yard, and get your patio air circulating. Doing so will ensure that these little bugs won’t ruin your time outside with family and friends, as well as protect you from harmful mosquito-borne diseases.

If you are worried about mosquitoes or other pests, let us help you!

Ants and Termites: A Major Residential Pest Control Issue

When ants and termites invade your home, you’re going to experience an extensive range of problems that the best residential pest control in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa, can help manage. Without professional help, there’s a good chance that your home and your health could be affected by these pests. As a result, it is crucial to understand how these pests operate and the different steps you need to take to ensure that they don’t cause complications with your healthcare needs.

Why Ants Are An Issue

Ants may not seem like as big of a problem as termites or even cockroaches but can be just as problematic. First of all, many ants can cause damage to your home. Typically, this type of damage comes in the form of wood being destroyed by carpenter ants. These ants eat wood and can burrow through a large variety of different areas and cause your home to become unbalanced and unsafe.

Beyond that, ants can be a health danger in ways that you may not anticipate. While ants don’t spread diseases the ways that cockroaches and other types of pests do, they do like to bite and sting homeowners. As very fearless and territorial creatures, ants will bite humans even though they are about to die. And while not poisonous, some people may react to these bites in upsetting ways.

Some may develop nausea, stomach cramps, and swelling when some fire ants sting them. These red ants possess a mild but upsetting poison that is usually not too hard to tolerate once the initial pain disappears. But those who are allergic to these stings may find themselves in a dangerous situation that residential pest control in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, can help manage with little difficulty.

How Termites Impact Your Home

The most apparent impact termites have on a home is their destructive potential. Termites spread like a plague and cause damage to wooden structures that can cause your home to become unbalanced and unsafe. For example, destruction to your wooden support beams in the foundation of a house may cause issues that high-quality residential pest control agents could help prevent with proper care.

However, the problems with termites don’t end with their wood-eating habits. Few people see termites in their homes most of the time and don’t realize that they can be quite aggressive. Soldier termites – large insects with an oversized head – are bold and defensive and will bite humans, triggering swelling, burning, and other symptoms similar to that of most types of ants.

Some may develop allergies to these termite bites that may be quite dangerous. Even worse, some may become allergic to termite waste and suffer asthmatic reactions and other issues. And they may develop rashes on the skin that can be persistent and quite painful to tolerate. Thankfully, residential pest control in Iowa City, Iowa, can help manage this concern and keep a home safer.

Reasons Why Professional Help is Crucial

Homeowners who suffer from ants and termites may try to handle them with DIY pest control. This step is a mistake because there are so many downsides to this approach. For example, homeowners may not correctly apply their treatments and trigger various issues that make it less effective. Others may even cause damage to their home or themselves without proper residential pest control help.

Therefore, it is essential to get expert help right away to get rid of these pests. They can provide high-quality and detailed treatment that considers the structure of a home and its overall size and shape. These professionals also have access to care options that homeowners do not, such as various pesticides, that can be more effective when managing the spread of these problematic creatures.

Thankfully, these residential pest control experts can provide a myriad of expert treatments that keep a home safe. For example, a termite tent can go over a house and safely distribute various pesticides to avoid damage to a home. In many cases, ant control has a similar approach but often focuses on getting rid of the queen to improve the success rate of these various treatments.

Are You Sick of Pests?

As you can see, the best residential pest control Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, Iowa, have to offer can give your home the high-quality look and style that it needs to stay healthy and secure for years to come. So if you’re struggling with any type of pest and want to make sure that you can get them out of your home, please contact us at D & R Pest Control right away to learn more. Our experts will set up a high-quality treatment session that will ensure you get the care needed for your home and its pest issues.

3 Factors Out of Your Control That Contribute to the Need for Pest Control

Pest control serves an important role in the lives of most Americans; yet, we often fail to consider the role that its service plays in our communities. Pest control is essential for maintaining community cleanliness because it can effectively deter or kill disease-carrying rodents and insects. Looking to the future, it seems like pest control as an industry will only continue to grow. This article will go into a few of the factors that contribute to this projected and necessary growth.

Weather

No matter where you live, weather can sometimes be unpredictable. Whether a given year brings unexpected torrents of spring rain or an early winter, these changes affect pest populations. Even though you may feel tempted to ease off regulating bug populations around your home during the winter, a failure to do so during changing weather conditions can result in unanticipated pest surges. Often, the only reliable way to truly keep pests at bay is by using pest control during the winter as well as during warmer months of the year.

Urban Sprawl

Urban sprawl, the development and expansion of urban areas, often brings with it expanded habitats for bugs, rodents, and other pests. Because of this, urban sprawl is credited as being part of the reason for the anticipated increase in the projected market value of pest control. Undoubtedly, urban areas will continue to expand as demand for comfortable living environments grows. As people move into these areas, they expect a high level of cleanliness and comfort—leaving no room for pests in neighborhood parks and along pedestrian sidewalks.

Climate Change

As the climate continues to change, insect populations are more pronouncedly affected than other populations. Because insects’ bodies change with the temperature, populations of certain species can result in huge population growths and shrinkages. When a population of insects grows suddenly, the crops that the insects feed on are often unable to respond. Because these swings in population are often unpredictable, pest control is often the only way to truly regulate insect populations.

Pest control is a booming industry—as urban areas continue to develop and as our climate continues to change, we will only see increases in the need for pest control in the future. Add in local weather changes and it seems nearly impossible to regulate pest populations without pest control. Responding to this demand, the industry is continuously adapting to reach new geographic regions as well as to provide new clean environmentally-friendly options to customers.

Having trouble getting rid of pests? Let us take care of them for you! Contact us today for a free quote.

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite! How To Handle A Bed Bug Infestation

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite! As a child, you might have thought this was just a silly rhyme. You might have even thought that bed bugs weren’t real. Be assured, they are very real, if they infest your home, you are in for a miserable night. Here’s how you can handle their intrusions.

Prevention

The best time to stop a bed bug infestation is before it starts. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The most important prevention measure is cleanliness. Bugs thrive in dirty places, so make your home as clean as possible. Regularly change your sheets, vacuum/wash the floors, and keep things tidy. Next, make it difficult for the bugs to enter. Patch holes in the wall. Even if they don’t lead outside, holes in the walls give bed bugs a great place to live. Inspect your windows for cracks in the caulking. Seal up any that you find.

Treatment

If you discover signs of bedbugs in your home, take action immediately. Bed bugs can lay hundreds of tiny eggs the size of dust specks. They reproduce three times a year. Any delay can lead to things getting out of control quickly. Your first step is to strip your bed, curtains, clothing, and wash it all. Then scrub your mattress with a dry stiff brush and then vacuum it immediately. Vacuum the floors, clean up clutter. Get tightly woven covers for your mattress and box springs.

Aftermath

Bed bugs are attracted to humans and may leave bites that require medical attention. If you are experiencing an infestation, contact your doctor. Keep him/her updated if you start developing any abnormal symptoms. Be aware that bed bugs can survive up to a year without feeding. You should keep a case on your mattress for at least that long, if not longer. You may wish to consider getting a new bed and mattress altogether. If your best efforts are failing, you may need to reach out to a professional pest control company. These professionals can lay down poisons that will kill the offending bugs.

A bed bug infestation is no laughing matter. Your sleep is very important, and you will not rest well as long as those pests are around. Fortunately, prevention is mostly a matter of regular cleaning and home maintenance. Treatment can quickly stifle the infestation if you act immediately. Do if the bugs come biting, don’t hesitate — jump into action and wipe them out.

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