How to Identify and Control Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the bug world. There are a number of different carpenter ants that will infest a building. Identifying these ants is the first step in ridding a building of the pests; calling a professional and helping to kill the ants follows. Preventing a new infestation is the final step, however, carpenter ants are diligent, and even the best pest control efforts may not keep them all outdoors. Continue reading our updated post on how to prevent carpenter ants. Identification Carpenter worker ants are sometimes black, sometimes red and black. They are typically up to 1/2 inch in length, and will be the first ants noticed, as they are the “scouts” that come out of the nest for food. The queen carpenter ants are winged, and as large as one full inch in size. They hide in the nest to lay eggs and care for young, so they are not as commonly found in the open. A typical colony divides itself between three different categories: workers, males, and queens. The worker ants could be different sizes, as these ants have specific jobs, as mentioned above. Some defend the nest while others gather food for the colony. As these are the ants that will be seen first, it’s important to use these ants to positively identify that the ants are carpenters. Look for a waist with one node, and a thorax that has an evenly rounded upper surface. This is important, as other ants will look similar to carpenters, but are not. The thorax will be the biggest difference in knowing if you have...

Rodent Proofing Your Home

Most people tend to concentrate their rodent control and management efforts on getting rid of the pests. However, proofing your home is equally necessary if you want to keep your home free from these creatures. Rodent proofing aims at preventing them from getting to your home at all, and this saves you the time, cost and stress of having to deal with an infestation. Some of the best means of keeping rodents from your home without using poison include; Avoid feeding the birds from the compound Feeding the birds by throwing food to them at the compound will only attract the rodents. Birds rarely eat up everything, and they are likely to leave the grains and other foods on the ground providing free meals for the crawling pests. To avoid this, avoid feeding birds around your compound and if you have to do it, clean up the area as soon as they leave. Sealing cracks and holes All the cracks and holes near wiring and pipes should be sealed. The best way would be using a rodent mesh to fill them. Ensure to seal even the tiniest holes. Some rodents like mice are capable of passing through holes as small as the tip of the index finger. Rats, on the other hand, can pass through holes as tiny as the tip of a thumb. Concentrate on roofs and the foundation as they are the major entry points of these pests and ensure there are no cracks left unsealed. Avoid leaving the garage door open Rodents love garages for shelter. This is because here, they can easily find food from...

Pest Proofing Your Home In The Winter

One of the things that you are likely to note once the winter season knocks is lack of flying insects like flies and mosquitoes. Such pests are commonly associated with the warm weather where they enjoy their outdoor activities and become a nuisance. However, lack of the little flying creatures does not mean that your home is now free from pests. Like you were used to seeing flies and other insects flying during the summer, other pests like rodents, cockroaches, and spiders will be crawling under rocks and other items during winter as they try to look for a warm habitat. They find homes to be convenient and cozy for the climate, and if you are not cautious, these pests will attack your home, and before you know it, you will be dealing with an uncontrollable number of pests in your home. These pests are dangerous, and they are known for posing health risks and other losses once they attack a place. For example, rodents chew stuff, and they could end up eating your valuable items if you are not careful. They are also known for chewing electrical cables which could result in electric fire leading to massive destruction. Moreover, rodents cause disease like Hantavirus. Other pests like spiders might be poisonous once they bite. Cockroaches come along with bacteria, allergies, and asthma and therefore these pests are nothing but a disaster. It is wise if you take steps to keep them off, rather than waiting until you notice the signs that you already have them for you to start taking steps to get rid of them. Home proofing...

Selecting the Best Mosquito Repellent

At times, you may feel like you are the center of attraction of all mosquitoes. Especially during the spring season when it is time to go out for picnics, BBQs and play time. During the period, it is wise if you stay with a bottle of mosquitoe repellent next to you as you undertake these activities. DEET is known as a significant ingredient in most insect repellents. This is because it lasts longer and the effect remains active for up to 8 hours although you have to reapply it after swimming or taking a bath. Before purchasing the product, ensure to check how much of DEET is contained in it. For good results, the repellent should provide 20% to 50% of DEET for good results. Another active and recommendable repellent is picaridin. It is known for being active although it is only recommended for people who may be having problems with using DEET. It is wise if you first consult with a pharmacist before buying the repellent. Why use mosquito repellent It is recommended that you use mosquito repellent when you are outdoors. You should use it even if you are stepping out for a short time. Most dangerous mosquitoes appear during dusk and dawn thus if you are going out during these hours ensure you are protected. Mosquito repellents come in different types which include; Spray form – These are the most common types of repellent, and they are the most convenient when you are traveling. You only need to spray a little of it then rub it to ensure your entire skin is covered. Lotion form – Most individuals,...

Keeping Ants Away From Your Home

During the warm or humid seasons, you are likely to discover ants entering your home or garden. Ants are known for being social, and they live in colonies of up to millions of ants, but the size of a colony depends on the species. Ants come in different types the common ones being pavement, carpenter, odorless house ants and acrobats just to mention a few. Ants are capable of damaging things like getting into your food, damaging plants or causing stinging bites. If you have a person in the family, who is allergic to ants bite it may call for medical attention. These insects mean no good other than causing disturbances and they can make an invaded area uncomfortable to stay. Dealing with ants and trying to get rid of them can be frustrating. Although there are pesticides used to eliminate them, some are toxic and poisonous to the human and environment. However, there are natural ways and home remedies to deal with ants. The natural methods to keep them off include: Taking precautions The most natural ways to keep ants at bay is by following simple precautions and make them your daily routine which includes; Cleaning dishes – It is recommended that you clean dishes immediately after use. If you are using a dishwasher, make sure to shut the door to keep ants from getting in. Leaving undone dishes in the sink for a long time will only be offering these insects free food. This includes the pet food dishes as the aroma of pet food can attract them too. The pet food bowls should be cleaned regularly to...

What Makes Cockroaches Hard to Control

Cockroaches have a reputation of being hard to get rid of or eliminate them from homes. They are found to be gross and unattractive. Cockroaches are mostly attracted to dirty environments. These creatures seem to be the most disgusting among other pests. This is because they can easily get to your food and other kitchen items which will automatically ruin the mood for the meal. These creatures have been in existence for millions of years, and they have been found to be adopting new habits and unique survival behaviors from time to time. This allows them to thrive in different types of environments which include homes. Controlling cockroaches is vital especially in protecting human health, but unfortunately, it can be very challenging. The pests are known for triggering various kinds of allergies and asthma. They are also known for spreading different types of bacteria and this being said, it is evident that they are a significant threat to homes. Before trying to get rid of cockroaches, you should be aware that you have an infestation. Some of the hints that you have cockroaches in your home include: Seeing them physically – This is the most obvious sign that you have roaches in your house. You are likely to see them mostly at night as they are nocturnal insects. You will see them trying to hide once you enter a room and turn lights on. Roaches droppings – Roaches are known for eating almost anything. From human food to dead skin just to mention a few and this makes their metabolism rate very high. You are likely to come across droppings which...

Getting Rid of a Wasps Nest on Your Door

**Before following our tips, remember, Safety First! Follow our tips at your own risk** Having a wasp nest on your door or around your home is unpleasant. Nobody would wish to be in such situations especially if you have small kids or anyone in your family allergic to wasp stings. Your first option will be to call an exterminator, but if you are not allergic to their stings, you can probably take care of the problem yourself. To take care of a wasps nest, you have to be careful with it. Ensure you approach the nest when it is less active and if you have to spray it, make sure to use an approved pesticide spray, smoke, insecticidal dust or water. To deal with the nest, you should: Plan for safety You need to ensure that you are going to be safe around the stinging insects by: Confirming that you are not allergic to wasps Set up a test with your physician before attempting to deal with the problem to ensure that you are not allergic to wasp stings. If you are not, you can then proceed to get rid of the wasp nest by yourself. However, if the test indicates that you are allergic, ask someone to eliminate the nest for you or call a professional exterminator. Discover what type of wasps’ nest you have at your door Before you decide to work on the nest, it is wise to know the species of wasp you are about to deal with. This will give you a sign of the best method to get rid of it. There are...

Homemade Pest Remedies

Unwanted pests and critters can put a damper on the happiness of your home and garden. The little creatures are both annoying and destructive. You have to do as much as you can to keep the unwanted guests from your home, failure to which could lead to money losses on repairs and replacement of the damaged property. Fortunately, you can keep the creatures away by using your household items to make homemade remedies. You can achieve this by the use of; Vinegar Vinegar is known for being an excellent cleaning agent but what most do not know is that it can be used for deterring different types of pest. For example, ants hate the smell of vinegar and this way you can use it to wipe out the trails they leave in your home to navigate. Also, you can create a trap using vinegar and apple cider mixed with dish soap. The smell of vinegar draws insects towards the mixture, and once they touch it, they are unable to escape. Catnip This product is a cockroach deterrent. Make a catnip concoction by simmering it in water and then you can spray it in areas where you discover cockroaches. However, the method is effective but not recommended for homes with cats. Essential oils These include eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint which help to keep bed bugs and dust mites away. All you require to do is mix the essential oils with water and then sprinkle it on carpets, rugs, and bedding. Vacuum cleaner If you discover lady bugs invasion in your home, the simplest way to get rid of them is...

Keeping Pests from Your Apartment (Or Any Home)

As a tenant, you want to keep pests off your apartment. However, most people believe and expect that the landlord is wholly responsible for pest control. Individuals should realize that they are the ones responsible for how the state of their rooms is. Your lifestyle plays a vital role in attracting pests, and therefore, there are a couple of roles you can play to minimize the chances of having the creatures entering your house. Sanitation plays a significant role in controlling and eliminating pests. Most of them like insects and rodents are only in your house for food, water, and shelter and eliminating these sources keeps them away and helps you avoid infestation. Some of the ways to achieve this include: Proper food storage Pests need to eat food for survival, and so, they are likely to be attracted to any source of food. Ensure not to leave food out or leave opened bags and boxes of food around. If the foods cannot be in a locked refrigerator then ensure they are in tightly closed containers to minimize any smell that could attract pests. If you have a cat or dog, buy a storage container for the pet food rather than having opened bags of pet food around. Clean the apartment This is another vital step that you can take to avoid an infestation. Make sure to keep the kitchen and the entire apartment clean. Do not leave used dishes from last night’s dinner in the sink overnight. Also, wipe your stove or cooker after cooking every meal since the grease from food attracts the creatures. Sweeping up crumbs,...

Oh No! Do I Have Mice In My Home?

Sharing your house with rodents and furry critters of the pests may not be the way you wish to manage your household. Not only are they unhealthy, but they can also be destructive with chewing items while foraging for food and shelter throughout the crannies of your home. When mice invade your home, you may panic, and you do not know how to go about it. This article offers you information about what you need to know about mice invasion in your home. Despite being unpleasant, it is possible to find and eliminate rodents. Never underestimate mice Mice, other than being opportunists, are determined. They will look for any defect in your home or house to gain access. For this reason, you have to be cautious and try being a DIY King in your home to seal each gap, plug each hole and repair any damaged property. How do mice get into your home? When talking about rodents, you surely have to admire their ability. However, when you have mice in your home, it is the last thing you wish to admire. Your first reaction will be to panic, but you need to be aware of their agility. You need to know that mice can fit even in tiny width and the young ones can pass through holes as small the width of a pencil. This means that you should not focus on looking for the obvious entry points in your house. Some things you should know are: Mice can scale up to 2 meters high walls They can squeeze themselves through holes with as small as the width...

6 Tips to Keep Houseflies Away From Your Home

Flies are very unavoidable and nuisance in most homes especially during the warm seasons of the year. Once they infest your home, you need to take control measures to get rid of them. There are different strategies you can adopt to minimize their presence in your house. You can eliminate them by the use of traps, insecticides, fly deterrents and cleaning. The most effectual method of getting rid of these insects is by using the methods near the source of the flies. For example, if you wish to minimize the presence of drain flies, then you better use a method that can be applied to the drain where the flies are coming from. The methods may not guarantee you a 100% success for every individual. To some, they may be more effective than others depending on the severity of the infestation. The methods are however worth trying before seeking help from a professional. Some of the best methods to get rid of home flies are; Vinegar trap This is the best way for a person who wishes to rely on homemade techniques. To follow this method, you will need sugar, apple cider, dish soap, a container, and water. In the bowl, put two tablespoonfuls of vinegar and mix it with a tablespoon of sugar. Then add some few drops of soap and a liter of water. Mix them thoroughly and then put the container around the area suspected to be the source of the flies or where you see them most. The gnats get attracted to the smell of cider vinegar. When they touch the liquid, they will succumb...

Keeping Pests in Check During the Summer

Nobody loves dealing with cockroaches, mice, spiders, stinkbugs and other pests at their homes. Summertime is here, and most of these pests are likely to emerge as the ground is now warm making them come out of their hideouts. The following are ways to keep some of the summer pests in check; Termites Termites are both nuisance to human beings, and also they cause damages to homes and outdoor wooden structures near your home. If the infestation is serious, it could cause severe damages and losses. To keep termites away: Put wood away from your home structure Avoid keeping wood in contact with soil Do not stack piles of wood against the house or put it directly on the ground. The good thing to do is build a place above the ground to place wood After construction, ensure to get rid of all the dead roots and stumps Get rid of moisture in the crawl space- Termites are attracted to moisture thus to avoid this, place vent openings for each 150 square of every crawl space Repair any leaking water pipes If you have to do mulching in your home garden, do not overdo it. Use water sparingly as overflowing water could attract termites With these simple steps, you will keep termites away and reduce the chances of termite infestation in your home during the summer season. Take your time to survey your backyard so that you can identify any potential problem that could attract them this summer. Stinging pests Some pests like bees, hornets, and wasps can ruin your summer outdoors very fast. These pests are mostly attracted...

Top Four Signs That You Have Termite Infestation

Termites are also known as the silent invaders. This is because they are hard to see and recognize when they infest a place. They live in colonies underneath your property, and when the ground unfreezes, they emerge and enter your structure through breaks and cracks in the foundation. This wood destroying pests are responsible for the destruction of over $5 billion worth property every year. As a homeowner, you may have termites unknowingly eating away inside your home walls and damaging other significant investments. There is a vast range of signs that termites have invaded your property. Be aware of the following signs, but you should also note that the absence of the signs below does not guarantee that your property is termite-free. Presence of mud tunnels You will notice mad tubes or mud tunnels that are about the size of the width of the pencil. They are likely to be seen along the exterior or interior walls. Termites build mud tunnels to get a way to travel from the nest to their food source which is typically any wood around your home. The thought of termite infestation can be unsettling, and chances are, you never thought that the problem existed. Termite infestation is not an issue that you should ignore since it can cause significant damages and the repair cost could be expensive. Termite control can be a do it yourself problem, but at some point, you have to get help. If you realize the issue early enough, you can take the control measures required to prevent it but if the infestation has already occurred, contact a pest...

Things to Understand About Pest Allergies

To be sure, we all know that pests in the home can be a nuisance. They also make our homes look unsanitary and spread infections. There are some pests, however, that whenever they infest your home, they leave a permanent negative impact on your life and in more ways than you ever thought of. While people tend to associate summer and spring with seasonal allergies due to plants and pollen, other non-plants agents trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Many household pests like dust mites, rodents and cockroaches are some of the major triggers of allergies and asthma. These parasites can cause allergies when indoors. About 63% of American homes have allergens to cockroaches. If you or your family member suffers the pests’ allergy, you must take steps before it worsens. In addition to visiting a physician or an allergist and taking the recommended medication, it is equally vital to eliminate any potential allergy triggers in your home. In this case, you must get rid of cockroaches and rodents like rats and mice which you are likely to see crawling and scurrying from one room to another. The following are tips to allergy-proof your house. Pitch it up – This involves excluding the pests by sealing gaps and cracks on the walls and floors. You can do this using silicone-based caulk. Also, pay much attention to the areas where utility pipes enter. Get rid of moisture – It is wise if you maintain the humidity level in your home. You can reduce humidity by about 50 percent by doing proper ventilation on basements and the crawl areas. You can also perform a...

Most Common Spiders in California

Spiders are creatures that have adapted nearly the entire terrestrial environment across the world. There are a variety of habitats in California, the desert dunes, red forests, and urban areas. For this, you will be surprised that over a half of the world’s spider families live here. You will certainly find spiders in almost all areas of California, and if you observe keenly, you will notice their different lifestyles and forms, and you will love the incredible diversity of this species. There are varieties of spiders found in California. Some of them are venomous ad will look for insects and other spiders for food. However, although they are venomous, they are not dangerous to human beings. Most of them only attack when they are threatened, but mostly they run away to their hiding place. Spiders are viewed as dangerous creatures, but they are beneficial as they provide us with free services by consuming pests and insects in and outside homes. The most common spiders found in California include: Black widow A study has shown that about 5% of the people that have been bitten by black window resulted in death, but most of them fully recovered. This spider is still considered as a dangerous species and poses a significant threat to the humans. When it bites, the victim may suffer from breath shortness, nausea, and muscle ache. The venom of the black widow species is stronger than the other spider species. Black widow is identified by its coloration and the red markings on the belly. The females have a shiny body and black legs. The matured females are the...

Protecting Your Children and Family from Bedbugs

Telling your kids to sleep well at times get hard without feeling itchy. Bedbugs are all over especially during summer season. They have been appearing everywhere including the movie theaters, retail stores and summer camps. Parents must work hard to protect their children from these sneaky pests. The following are steps to follow to keep your kids and family from bedbugs. Know if you have bedbugs in your home The initial step is to identify if you have them in your house. Many people recognize them by itchy bumps which are mostly red and welt shaped. However, not everyone is susceptible to bites, and it can get hard to identify them. How do you know if the red bumps are from bedbugs? Bedbugs bites are mostly in a line alignment and the bugs bite in areas where mosquito rarely bite for example your back, face, body trunk and like mosquitoes they bite the arms too. What should you do if your kids have bedbugs’ bites? You should first look around for any signs of bug infestation. The adult bugs are easy to spot though the offspring are hard to identify since they are colorless. The adults are flat and wingless with a length of about ¼ inch when grown fully. Bedbugs infest areas, and it is nice if you identify the major regions. Check around the mattress seams, around box springs, and under the dust ruffle. You are not only looking for the bugs but also their fecal matters which look like black pepper. You can also identify them by little-dried blood spots on the bed sheets. These pests...

Protect Yourself: Termites Cause Property Damage

Just picture a situation where a complex society made of little creatures that burrow through your yard and swarm all over your doors and lurking your house. These pests patiently eat away your furniture and walls causing too much damage and destruction which will cost you a lot on repair and replacement. This has become an everyday ordeal that many people are facing each day. By this, am talking about termite infestation. It is a problem that everyone wants to avoid. Prevention is essential, and it is good if done early enough. Protect your home from these creatures, and you can do that by doing the following; Get rid of any wood in contact with the ground Many infestations happen due to the wood being in contact with the soil. Wood to earth contact gives the termites an easy access to moisture, shelter and food and direct entry to the building. Wood siding, window and door frames and other wood items should be at least five inches from the ground. To do this, you may require degrading soil or mulch from the foundation and cut the wood bottom or if the post must reach the ground, put it on a concrete base. However, posts that are erected on concrete grounds are also vulnerable to termites since they extend to the soil. Do not allow moisture to accumulate near foundation Termites are mostly attracted to moisture and are likely to infest an area that is moist and next to the soil. To prevent this, divert water from the foundation using gutters and splash blocks. Ensure to repair any leaking pipes,...

Termites Love Attacking Your Home

It is every person’s nightmare to see a massive termite infestation in their home since it results in significant damage to the homes. The good thing is that when discovered early enough, the termite problem can be thwarted. The treatments are, however, expensive and extensive and the longer the termite infestation is left untreated, the costlier it becomes. As the termites keep on destroying furniture and other parts of the house, it gets worse and more expensive to repair them. It is good if you learn how to avoid such situations and prevent the ravages created by termites. Prevention is always the number one step to keep your home free of termite and avoid significant expenses. To deal with them, you should; Know your enemy The first step to fighting this battle is by identifying your enemy. Understand what conditions attract termites, and this will arm you with the necessary knowledge required to destroy them. The primary key is to keep your home environment dry by clearing all the stagnant water and repair any leakages and cracks. Learn the signs of termites’ infestation and observe all your property frequently to see if you get any signs. Prevention starts with the minor actions you take some of which include; Covering your firewood – If you must store wood in or outside the house, ensure it is covered as it is one of the main areas targeted by termites Ensure your garden is few meters from the home – Trees in your garden are also an attraction for the termites and it would be better if it is not near your...