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...

Comprehensive Understanding of Swimming Spiders

Mostly, many people who struggle with arthropods feel comfortable in water since they are confident that spiders cannot live in water. If you are one of them, then you are not familiar with the swimming spiders, known as the diving bells. These spiders spend most their lifetime underwater. You might be surprised, but yes, there is such a creature as underwater spiders. Diving bell spider is among the few species of spiders that are known to live entirely under water. It is a member of the genus Argyroneta, and when it is outside water, its color ranges from mid to dark brown, but the hairs on its abdomen gives it a dark gray appearance. How they do it This species of spiders is quite like other species such that it breathes air just like the other types. The spiders make a web cocoon with silk which they fill up to create a bubble full of air which they can breathe when underwater. When submerged in water, there is an air bubble trapped by the dense layer of hydrophobic hairs on the legs and abdomen, and this gives the belly a silvery appearance. The spiders can live for up to two years. Due to their inbound life under water, the spiders can make use of the oxygen, and they only need to come out of the water about once in a day to replenish their air supply. Swimming spiders are found in ponds of the central and northern Europe and in some parts of Asia. It is the only spider species known to spend its life wholly underwater. The spider...

A History of Ants

The Fascinating History and Behavior of Ants Ants are older than believed, having originated about 168 million years ago. The resilient insects found in terrestrial ecosystems began to diversify about 100 million years ago. They evidently arose during the Cretaceous period. The earliest known fossils fall into two groups. There is the primitive Mesozoic which is under Sphecomyrminae subfamily. The next group is extant of the subfamily Formicine and the Poneromorph group of subfamilies. They comprise of the large and diverse Ponerinae and other prominent subfamilies. The workers known as sphecomyrmine genus were a pattern of the ant and wasp traits. There were specimens found in the deposits of Late Cretaceous amber in North America, Siberia, and Asia. Hence, they are found in the northern supercontinent of Laurasia. Other ants’ deposits like Paleogene and sphecomyrmines are rare. Among the many thousands of Cretaceous insect’s specimens examined from New Jersey, Burma and Canada only seven of them have enough characteristics to qualify being called sphecomyrmine workers. From the biology of these ancient ants, it is right to say that they lived in mesic forests with rich insect faunas and rich florals although the exact timing causes of their extension in the last 10 to 20 million years are not well known. In the history of sphecomyrmines, there was the occurrence of a wider radiation beyond the stem genus Sphecomyrma. Among the oldest fossils include Gerontoformia from the early Cenomanian to the uppermost Albian amber of France which was dated to 100 million years ago. Due to the imperfect preservation, there is no placed reference to fossils or subfamilies, but it...

Termites: Just Give Me the Facts!

Facts about Termites; How to Identify, Prevent and Control Them Termites are also known as the silent destroyers since it is their habit to hide secretly in your or home without showing any signs of damage. All termites eat cellulose-based plants and unfortunately every home regardless of the nature of construction can provide termites with this type of food. Scientific name Termites come in three different types, the subterranean, dampwood, and drywood. All of them belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta and order Isoptera. They have over two thousand species which have distinct scientific names. The main species that attack homes are Eastern subterranean, southern drywood termites and Pacific dampwood termites. The scientific names are: Eastern subterranean – Reticulitermes flavipes Southern drywood – incisitermes snyderi Pacific dampwood – Zootermopsis angusticollis Their appearance The termites’ size ranges from1/4 to 1/2 an inch long. The kings and queens are much bigger, and they can reach an inch long. The workers’ bodies are soft and are pale colored. The flying termites which are also known as the reproductives have two pairs of large wings. Diet Termites are said to be detritus feeders. They love feeding on dead plants and trees. They get their nutrients from cellulose which is an organic fiber from wood and plant matter. Wood makes up the most diets for pest although termites can feed on other materials like plastic, paper, and drywall. Most of the termite species prefer dead wood, but others consume living plants. Every type of termite has different diet preference. The subterranean termites love softwoods, but they can also invade other types of wood....

Top 4 Checklist Items When Choosing a Pest Control Company

Facts to Consider When Choosing a Pest Management Company Due to the increased urbanization, it means that now more than ever, pests are highly competing with the human for food. Just as pervasive as pest infestations are, so are pest control companies. It gets hard to find a pest control company since when you open the yellow pages; you will realize that besides the many household names, there are hundreds of businesses offering their pest management services. Smaller companies are likely to offer more competitive rates due to their relatively low costs, and it gets tempting to run to them since we all want to save money. However, there are many things that you need to consider before deciding to accept a quote from just any company that comes your way. Here is a list of the four top factors you should highly put into consideration. Establishment If the pest control company is reliable, it should be fully certified, insured and equipped. The pest exterminators and inspectors should be trained and high qualified in their profession. They should always be able to communicate well with their clients and give proper information before beginning the services. The process should start with inspecting pests. If they are genuine, they will then consult you about the possible elimination methods before deciding which one to use. They will then discuss the cost ranges. If they are specialists, they will give you advice and recommendations on how to avoid the pests in the future. Reputation The reputation of a company is very vital in measuring success rate. Also, it is good to check how...

Hidden Dangers in the Garden

Protect Yourself from the Hidden Dangers in the Garden You may feel like there is no better way to spend your afternoon like tending to your garden. What you are not aware of is the dangers that are hiding in your yard waiting to explode and do harm to you. Despite the beauty of the garden, you must be extra careful because every time you go to attend to it, you might be exposing yourself to different types of dangers which include; Accidental cuts and scrapes If your garden has thorny plants, ensure you have tetanus medicine ready. Thorns are a very unpleasant deal for every person. Some shrubs and flowers may seem beautiful and attractive in the garden, but they have thorns, and although the thorns are there to protect them from harm, the pinch of it can be very painful. Some have venom in them which makes it even more painful. It is advisable for you to wear gloves when working in the garden to prevent such incidences. Moreover, you are likely to get cuts or scratch from scraps on the ground, and the biggest problem with that are the bacteria. Bacteria are hidden in the soil and could, therefore, enter your body causing you more major problems. Legionellosis You may have heard of incidences where many people have even died from picking up these bacteria that hides in moist soil. We already know that the potential of getting this deadly bacterium is there in the potting mix and the compost bags, but very few take the precaution of putting on masks. Put on a mask for...

How to Spot Argentine Ants

Identifying, Locating and Controlling Argentine Ants Due to their small sizes, the best way to identify Argentina ants is by their color, tails and the fact that they smell when squashed. Argentina ants are highly busy when looking for food. They trail in a group of five or more ants, and they can move on buildings and trees. Research has shown that at every given time, there are about ten quadrillion ants alive and roaming on earth. Some people may find it hard to believe, but those who have dealt with Argentine ants invasion may even feel like the number is an underestimate. These are prolific breeders, and the worse thing is that they are aggressive too. Appearance The Argentina ants’ colonies are easy to identify due to their massive sizes, but individually, they are only 3mm long. They are wingless, and their color ranges from light to dark brown. The males and queens are larger and darker. They can be distinguished from the other ant species by the following features; They do not sting, though they can bite Their antennae are divided into 12 segments Their mandibles are lined with 5-8 large teeth Their eyes are set below the widest point of the head A single node separates thorax and abdomen Emits a musty smell when crushed They move in vast ant trails Queens The Argentine ant queens are different from the other ant species. Some of their unique features are; They are small about 1/6 to ¼ inches in length which are smaller than the species of ant queens The winged Argentine ant queens mate only once...

Prevent Pests in Stored Food Areas

Control and Prevention Measures for Stored Products You will find stored products pest almost in every home at some point. Many people do not recognize why they occur or how to identify and control them. Most of the pests are transported to homes from warehouses and stores. Others appear at home from products that have been stored for long. You know that incidence when you see a moth moving around the lighting or television at night. The kind which turns into powder when squished, or the moment you measure flour to make some pancakes or cookies and see some brown insects floating on the flour. That is a sign that you are infested with these pests. If you find the same bug repeatedly in your home, it is an indication of product pests’ problem. Pantry pests are more common in the food storage areas whereas fabric pests are commonly found in closets or regions with sources of leather or natural fiber. However, they could also be in other sectors, for example, some pantry pests can infest in an area where there is an animal carcass such as a rat or mouse that had died somewhere in the house, and fabric pests can be spotted anywhere in the house. The following is a list of the product pests and how to control them. Moths Indiana moths They can be either pantry or fabric pests. They come in different color patterns, size and behavior which can help to identify which area they prefer to attack. There is the Indiana meal moth which is the most common indoor pest. It is identified...

Bed Bugs and Your Furniture

If you see signs of bed bug infestation in your home, it is best if you find it early before it spreads. Treating the infestation when it is still minor is far easier and less costly than after it spread and become established. However, a small outbreak is very hard to find and identify. You can easily mistake other insects like carpet beetles with bed bugs, and if you misidentify bed bugs, it gives them more time to spread all over the house. Bed bug bites are indicators of infestation, but you can also confuse them with bites from other insects like mosquitoes and some people do not react to the bites at all, which makes it hard to identify a bed bug infestation by bites. The best way to determine if you have a bed bug infestation is by looking for physical bed bugs signs which include; Rusty stains on the mattresses or bed sheets. The reddish stains are as a result of bed bugs being crushed as you sleep Dark spots, the size of a dot on the fabric which could be as a result of bed bug excrement Tiny eggs and eggshells and yellow skins shed off by the nymphs as they grow bigger Seeing the bed bugs themselves Bed bugs hide in many places when they are not feeding. They can be found near the seams, piping, and tag of the mattress. They also hide in the cracks on the bed headboard and frame. If your house is highly infested you can find them in other places like; The junction where the ceiling and the...

Learning More about the Wolf Spider

The word wolf spider itself sounds scary. From the word wolf, you can tell the dangers that come with this animal. The name encompasses a family of many spiders, which are mostly dark colored and athletic. The spiders catch their prey by hunting it down violently using their sharp eyesight rather than looking for food while on the web like other spiders do. Their parenting is unique and exciting too. Wolf spiders are commonly found in grasslands, but they are also present in deserts and rain-forests provided they find insects. Appearance Wolf spiders are large and hairy that they are at times mistaken for tarantulas. They come in different colors brown, gray, black or tan. They have dark markings which are at times stripes. However, the spiders can be distinguished by the following main features; Eight long and hairy legs Sharp horizontal fangs Eight eyes arranged in three rows Unique Jack impression on their back They range in size from about ¼ to two inches long Wolf spider camouflages which help them to catch their prey and protect them from predators. The male spiders are typically smaller than the females. Bite and threats Wolf spider can only bite when threatened, but their poison is not very harmful to human beings. Wolf spider’s bite symptoms include redness, mild pain, and swelling. At times a fever can be experienced and swell of the lymph glands. It is advisable to seek medical assistance immediately after the bite or do first aid especially for young children and the elderly. Habits and defense The spiders commonly roam alone at night as they stalk their...