Tag Archive: Home and Garden

Helpful Hints on Rodent Pest Control

Mouse By TailAny kind of pest problem is a major nuisance no matter how you look at it, but when it comes to having rodents in your home, it’s a whole nother story. Rodent infestations often feel like a serious invasion of space and is a situation that cripple many people with fear. This is definitely a circumstance that you don’t want to try handling on your own, but instead requires the immediate help of a pest control professional.

Importance of Rodent Pest Control

 

The significance of pest control when there are rodents present goes way beyond getting rid of them simply because they get into your food and look disgusting if you happen to actually see them scurrying about. Mice and rats are actually a dangerous risk to your health. Rodents carry numerous kinds of bacteria, diseases and parasites around on their furry little bodies, which they are sure to bring into your home any time they can find a way in.

They are also known to gnaw and chew on electrical wiring, causing fires and leaving destruction in their wake. Another good reason to call in a professional pest control company as soon as you notice signs of a possible rodent intrusion is because these critters reproduce large amounts of offspring in a short period of time, which can result in a massive problem when not dealt with quickly and properly.

How Rodents Give Themselves Away

 

Nesting MiceRodents often leave evidence of their existence around a house, and if you know what to look for, you can catch them before the dilemma spirals out of control. Common indications you’re sharing your home with uninvited visitors include: droppings, which are typically found wherever there’s food, holes or teeth marks in food packaging, scampering or squeaking noises, nests made of a mish-mash of trash, paper, furniture stuffing, grass, twigs, etc., musky or foul odors, footprints or tail streaks, smears of grease and pets that suddenly get excited around a certain area of the home.

Prevention For the Future

 

Though some dwellings may be more appealing to rodents than others, no home is completely safe from these undesirable creatures. To do your best at preventing unwelcome house guests from choosing your residence as their next source for food and warmth, there are several preventive measures you can take.

Keep all food and pet food sealed tightly in containers that aren’t vulnerable to sharp rodent teeth. Take the trash out consistently and keep airtight lids on garbage cans. Routinely check that all entry points are secured and impenetrable and pay close attention to even the smallest holes and cracks in your foundation (rodents can squeeze through tiny open spaces). Get rid of any form of water supply by repairing leaky pipes and faucets, clearing out gutters and keeping bird baths and decorative fountains a good distance from your home.

Catching rodent problems early on or preventing them altogether with regular pest control inspections is the key to sleeping peacefully at night without the concern that there are unsavory vermin roaming around your home.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson is an established blogger who hails from California and immensely enjoys writing about home and health related topics. When she’s not blogging you will usually find her dancing, cooking, or doing yoga.

 

Does Toxic Mold Cause Bed Bugs? Here Are Some Tips You Need To Know

Mold BedbugsMold and bed bugs are two things that no one wants to see when they crawl in bed for a restful night’s sleep. While bedbugs do not spread disease, they do bite people during the night, which can result in itchy and uncomfortable skin. Molds, including allergenic and toxic types, can also set up residence in the mattress due to the dark, warm and moist environment. Repeated exposure to mold can cause a wide variety of symptoms and illnesses. With the shared environment, many people wonder whether mold can cause bed bugs. Although this is not the case, neither mold nor bed bugs deserve a welcome in your home, much less in your bed.

Causes of Bed Bug Infestation

 

Bed bugs are tiny and can hide just about anywhere. They are nocturnal and only wake up to feed at night. Bed bugs never went away overseas, and as Americans began to amass more and more possessions and the market for used and imported goods has flourished, as has international travel, it was only a matter of time before bed bugs became an epidemic here. In most cases, a bed bug infestation is a result of poor hygiene. However, you don’t have to have poor hygiene to get bed bugs in your house. They can hide in a used book, a moving truck, an empty box, or hitch a ride in your luggage when you come home from staying at a hotel. Your own hygiene can be excellent but you can still end up with bed bugs in your house.

Preventing Bed Bugs

 

You can prevent bed bugs from getting into your house and biting you while you sleep. These strategies can help keep you bed bug free.
Avoid buying used furniture from unknown sources.
Isolate used linens, clothing, books and other items for two weeks before bringing them into your home. Alternatively, bag them up in a heavy black plastic garbage bag and let them sit in the sun all day. The heat will kill the bugs. Examine hotel rooms for the signs of bed bugs before unpacking your luggage or using the bed.

Mold Infestation

 

No matter what the type of mold, it needs a moist environment, something to grow on, warmth and it prefers darkness. A mattress provides all of these. Although mold spores are everywhere within the environment, repeated exposure for many hours every day can cause some people to develop troublesome symptoms. Common symptoms of mold exposure include sinus and nasal congestion, coughing, trouble breathing, wheezing, skin irritation, itchy eyes, and frequent respiratory infections. Babies, young children, and elderly people are at a higher risk of developing symptoms from mold exposure. People with chronic respiratory diseases or immune system disorders are also at an increased risk of mold sicknesses.

Preventing Mold

 

You can prevent mold from overtaking your bedroom and your house. Some things to try include:
-Encasing your mattress in a waterproof cover.
-Using exhaust fans or opening a window when showering and cooking.
-Use an air conditioner and dehumidifier to get rid of excess indoor moisture.
-Clean frequently.

When Mold and Bed Bugs Coincide

 

If you have symptoms of a bed bug infestation or a mold infestation, you need to take action. You might need to take drastic measures such as getting rid of your mattress and having a pest control company come into your home to get rid of the bed bugs. Proper air conditioner maintenance can also help with mold control. Being cautious when purchasing furniture and other items for your home can also help prevent bed bugs. These inexpensive tips can help keep you, your family and your home healthy and free of the symptoms of bed bugs and mold exposure.

Featured images:

Author Bio: Robert had a lot of problems with mold and bed bugs as soon as he moved into his new home. In this very interesting article Robert explained the relationship of mold and bed bugs.

Do You Need a Termite Inspection or Are Those Just Flying Ants?

winged termiteAre those termites or flying ants in your yard? Which one could that wing you found on the windowsill belong to? Did you even know ants could fly? It’s common for homeowners to confuse flying ants for termites or vice versa. Confirming which one it is that may be invading your property is important since termites are known to cause damages that could end up seriously costing you in repairs. Flying ants are generally just more of an annoyance. There are a few different ways of telling them apart and treatment methods for getting rid of both, but if you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to call for a professional termite inspection. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this.

Distinguishing Body Characteristics

Once ants and termites hit their swarming stage and produce wings it becomes difficult to differentiate between the two black-bodied creatures with just a quick glance. However, studying the characteristics of three specific body parts should help you in determining the difference. If you’re able to get close enough, look to see if the antennae is straight or bent. The first will signify a termite and the latter an ant. Their wings also vary pretty distinctly. A termite’s wings will take on a long and narrow shape, be of equal lengths and lay parallel to the body. The wings on an ant are unequal in length, are positioned at an angle and the front set of wings are noticeably larger than the back ones. Lastly, you can identify a termite or ant by body shape. The waist of a termite is straight in accordance with the rest of its body, which is separated into two segments, while an ant’s body has three segments and a waist that is pinched in.

Swarming Mannerisms

Swarming is typical of termites that are ready to reproduce and find a new place to start a colony. However, flying ants will often nest then swarm as well and find their way inside a house, creating instant panic for a homeowner. Swarmers are looking for a place to quickly burrow into soil and take up residence as they can’t typically live for long periods of time in dry climates. Catching sight of a large amount of flying bugs should be a caution sign that you have some type of insect colony living nearby.

termite damageOther Signs of Termites

Although, they are usually hard to discover by actually seeing them, termites do leave other signs around that they’ve invaded a home. Mud tubes, droppings, discarded wings, sagging or curling floors and hollowed or buckling wood are all good indicators of a possible termite infestation. Uncovering any of these signs, along with viewing a swarm, means a termite inspection is in order right away.

While you shouldn’t automatically freak out when you see a swarm of termite look-alike winged insects because they could just be flying ants, keep in mind that scheduling an annual termite inspection is the only way for a homeowner to ever really be sure that they are free of any termite activity. It would be unfortunate to wait until there’s so much damage already done that it becomes visible to the naked eye and past the point of helpful treatment.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson is a full-time blogger who finds great joy in writing on topics such as pest control. She has personally dealt with rat and fly infestations and hopes that she never has to experience flying ants or termites!

Green Tips On Ridding Your Home Of Silverfish

SilverfishSilverfish. Those disgusting, wiggling, squiggling, silvery insects that come out at night to crawl up your walls and feast upon your books, dry oats, wallpaper glue, plaster, drywall and carpet. We’ve all seen them, whether you knew what they were or not. Silverfish are common household pests that, while not dangerous, can cause considerable amounts of damage to household items (not to mention that they’re just plain nasty and the sight of them can make one’s skin crawl!) However, it’s pretty easy to keep your home’s population of silverfish in check, and can be done without the use of harsh chemicals. Below you will find some green tips and suggestions regarding how you can rid your home of silverfish (or at least keep their numbers to a bare minimum.)

Cleaning Tips

  • Vacuum on a regular basis. This will help get rid of silverfish eggs. Take special care to vacuum around floorboards and hard-to-reach crevices. Afterward, empty your vacuum cleaner contents into a plastic bag; tie the bag tightly and dispose of it ASAP.
  • Wash all surfaces frequently. Use a peppermint or eucalyptus cleaner. This helps repel them.
  • Keep ALL FOOD in sealed containers, such as plastic canisters or glass jars. Silverfish are unable to crawl up the smooth surfaces.
  • Freeze all infested books and garments for a few days in order to kill any eggs which may linger.

Homemade Baits

  • Jar Trap: This tried-and-true old timer’s trick involves wrapping the outside of tall glass jars with masking tape or twine and filling with about ½” of dry oats. The silverfish will be attracted to the oats and crawl up the rough surface of the jar- however, once he’s in, he’ll be unable to escape.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around floorboards and other areas where the silverfish have been creeping. This non-toxic pesticide will stick to the silverfish as they crawl through it, scratching through its protective layers and causing it to dehydrate through the rapid loss of liquid. The result? Those nasty silverfish shrivel up and die.
  • Mashed Potato Balls: Mix mashed potatoes with alum and roll into balls and place on newspaper or pieces of cardboard throughout your house. The alum in the balls will poison and kill the silverfish.

Natural Silverfish Repellents

Some items are considered to be natural silverfish repellents, and can be sprinkled around floorboards, cupboards and drawers in order to scare the silverfish away. Among these include bay leaves, eucalyptus, Epsom salt, whole cloves, cinnamon, and cucumber peals. If you don’t like the idea of simply sprinkling these items around your home, place them in cupcake wrappers and set them out, scattered about your house.

Silverfish may seem like nasty little vermin, but the fact is they are harmless to humans and mainly just like to munch on things like your books, which can be quite the nuisance! Thankfully they are fairly easy to get rid of, although you will have to repeat the process every few weeks as any new eggs that you may have miss begin to hatch. With persistence you can get your silverfish population under control- without resorting to using pesticides to do so.

About the author: Chris is writer for a Long Island pest control company.

 

Five Plants That Keep Mosquitoes From Buzzing In Your Ears

Everyone tires of the constant buzzing and biting from mosquitoes. It can be a real pain to deal with mosquitoes when one has a backyard party, is grilling out, or just wants to sit comfortably and watch the kids play. Candles, torches, citronella sprays, and bug repellents work, but only for a little while. There is another, more natural way to keep mosquitoes from ones yard to begin with. Having the right plants in ones yard can keep mosquitoes away altogether. Some plants emit natural odors and oils that repel mosquitoes all the time, not just for a little while.

Lemony Plants

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

Plants that give off a lemony odor keep mosquitoes away. Lemon grass, lemon balm, and lemon thyme are all great plants to use to repel the nasty pests. Lemon grass is not easily planted with seeds and is better when grown from the plant itself. Buying a bunch from the local grocery store works fine. Take the bunch and place in a vase of water in a sunny window for about a week or ten days. By this time, roots will begin to grow and the lemon grass can be split into pieces and planted easily. Lemon balm is also known as horsemint. It repels mosquitoes but it is very hard to contain. The plant flourishes even in dry patches of weather. It does not repel other insects including bees. Keeping this plant trimmed back is a necessary part of the upkeep for lemon balm. Lemon thyme is also good for repelling the pesky bloodsuckers, but although easy to grow, it requires yearly pruning.

Catnip

Catnip

Catnip

One of the best deterrents of mosquitoes is catnip. This plant can be grown all over ones yard and can be placed in any soil. It grows very easily on its own. The only drawback is the luring effect that it has on cats. People who own cats should not plant catnip in their yards. Otherwise, catnip is great used as a plant in pots, gardens, and flowerbeds. Catnip oil and crushed dried catnip are also effective against mosquitoes. Using these items can reduce the care needed by the plants and still offer the repelling benefits of catnip.

Marigolds

Marigolds

Marigolds

Marigolds are a colorful way to repel mosquitoes, but the bright color attracts wasps. Be careful when planting marigolds to make sure that they are away from patios and windows. Putting them near fence lines and the back of a property are great ways to repel mosquitoes without inviting wasps too close. Putting these flowers in pots that can be moved around is also a great idea.

Citronella

Citronella

Citronella

Citronella plants are one of the most common plants that people use to repel mosquitoes. Citronella oil is used in candles, torches, lamps, and many other mosquito repelling products. The citronella plant is easy to grow, and the plant works better at keeping mosquitoes away because it has more of an odor than the oil that is used in mosquito repelling products.

Spices

Herb & Spice Garden

Herb & Spice Garden

Rosemary, basil, and sage are all great deterrents for mosquitoes. Some repel other pests like flies, beetles, and ants. Spices are great to plant in ones garden or in pots that can be moved around the patio. Using spices regularly and growing them yearly helps eliminate pests like mosquitoes from ones garden and yard.

Using the right combination of plants in ones yard is a great way to help keep pesky insects like mosquitoes from plaguing ones family year round. Finding the right combination to use in planters, pots, the garden, and at entryways is easy with the right information. Potted plants can be moved around next to chairs and tables for maximum protection. Choosing the plants that serve the families needs the best without inviting unwanted pests is the best method.

About the author:

Chris is a blogger for Excel Pest Control a NJ based pest control company.

Crazy Bug Gadgets People Have Invented To Help Rid Your Home Of Insects

Do you ever wonder about some of these wild inventions you see littered around the store? It’s almost as if the inventor took too much acid and started going crazy with a pencil. Not only are the gadgets rubbish, but a child would be able to design something that worked better. You see them in a lot of different industries, but one industry they appear in more than most is pest control. I guess when people are designing killing tools they like to go a little crazy.

If you had a bug problem I’m pretty sure you would want to deal with it. You definitely wouldn’t want to run around your home with weird gadgets thinking you were Rambo. Some people obviously do because these deterrents and death traps keep flying off the shelves. Maybe it’s just good marketing, but you can see for yourself because we’re going to look at a few of them now. Just remember that they might sound good, but there are better options available.

Bug-A-Salt

 

Trying to catch a fly out of thin air with chopsticks is very hard, but you can blast it out of the sky instead using a gun. Not just any gun, because this one shoots salt at insects and if you get a direct hit they won’t bother you again. If anything goes near your dinner it will be a little like killing two birds with one stone, because you can kill an insect and salt your food at the same time. I suppose it’s not too bad because it’s non-toxic and doesn’t require any batteries to work.

Electronic Venus Flytrap

 

Your favorite plant is a Venus flytrap, right? How can you not love a plant that actually eats insects when they crawl inside? The real version is cool and you can buy one for your home, but you should get an electronic one instead because they do the same thing. The gadget will attract an insect inside using special bait then it will suddenly snap its mouth shut. The insect is dead and you have one less thing flying around your head when you’re trying to watch TV.

An Extreme Fly Swatter

 

When you look at normal fly swatters they don’t look special. Sure, you might knock a few flies out of the sky if you get lucky, but where is the fun in that? A very smart person must have been listening to everyone moaning because they came up with the perfect answer. They would release an electronic fly swatter that looked like a tennis racquet and it would electrocute the flies to death when you hit them. How can you not walk around all day with this gadget in your hand?

Net Rocket Launcher

 

They say this is a gun that shoots a net at unsuspecting creatures, but it looks more like a rocket launcher, which sounds a lot more dangerous. You just need to make sure the thing you’re aiming at is pretty big because I don’t think it will work on ants. This is a silly invention because after you capture your giant bug or rodent you then have to pick it up and throw it away. That doesn’t take away the fact it’s pretty cool to shoot a net over something though.

Can You Think Of Anything?

 

I’m sure we can all agree that those ideas are pretty crazy. They definitely sound fun, but I don’t know if they will help you clear the insects out of your home. If you were going to design a bug gadget do you know what it would be? Have a little think about it and let us know in the comments below.

This article is by Mark Ross, an adventurist. As the owner of a pest control company which provides services like wildlife control in Mississauga, he is dedicated and sincere to his work. Whenever he can find time from his busy schedule, he prefers to indulge in writing which is his favorite activity.

10 Cheap Ways To Pest Proof Your Home

Beautiful HomeNo matter how much effort you put into protecting your home from pests, there are some insects that will find their way into your house. But even if that is the case, it can be made a lot harder for them to get in. By investing time in a little home maintenance tasks, you can make your home virtually pest free.

The 10 Cheapest Ways To Pest Proof Your Home

  • Keep screens on all your doors and windows

Screen doors should be installed in your home. If they are damaged or torn, get rid of them! In order to prevent the most minute or smallest of insects from entering your home, use the finest mesh screening you can find.

  • Seal around all doors and repair any openings

Bugs can get in if light or air can. Tight fitting floor sweeps should be installed at the exterior door bottom area. Fill the gaps with door seals at the top and sides of each door. Gaps and cracks in the basement, especially near pipes that enter or exit through the wall. Check outside around the house for other outlets, utility meters and vents that could be inviting for insects. Doors and windows general have some type of weather stripping.

  • Take time to seal cracks in the foundation of your home or the exterior walls

This can also include any fascia boards too. Exterior wall cracks welcomes insects in. A caulking solution on these cracks will greatly reduce insect visitors.

  • Check utility lines and other vents near appliances

If there are gaps or openings in and around the appliances in your home, they provide ways for insects to come in from the outside. Using a foam spray, cover these areas and keep the critters out!

  • Crawling CockroachSecure Attic with critter proof mesh

There are an abundance of critters and pests that would like to make themselves right at home in crawl spaces in your attic. Barriers should be installed to keep them out. By putting in some critter proof mesh on vents and crawl spaces, these critters will stay out and also keep the other fleas and mites that they carry out of your home as well!

  • Fix any leaks

This is because moisture can attract insects. Humidity of some amount is required for insects to live. Plumbing leaks should be repaired as soon as possible. Pipes that are dripping should be tightened and sealed. Heavy rain or flooding could greatly damage your basement is a proper drainage system is not installed.

  • Keep a clean and tidy kitchen

The kitchen is where food is stores and also where pests like to be right at home. So, most importantly keep the kitchen as clean as possible. Most pests it turns out are attracted to crumbs and bits of food left around. Some tips to keep the kitchen include keeping leftovers sealed up, double check counters for spills, clean containers of leftover residue, keep checks on spoiled fruit and produce, sweep up and vacuum regularly and try to wipe off and clean containers before recycling them. Most importantly, seal your food up tight!

  • Clean up the yard & clean up after pets

It’s true that the heaps of compost and decayed or dried up leaves are congregational points for insects. Keep a clean yard, as well as trim back bushes and tree limbs touching your home. Clean up any pet waste and keep your trash bins clean.

  • Get rid of unnecessary clutter

By keeping your house cluttered up, insects can find places to hide. Put your things away after they are used and keep your floor clear.

  • Take the garbage out

If it can be smelled, it’s time to remove it. These smells attract unwanted pests. Empty the garbage can as much as possible.

About the author: Chris is a blogger for a union pest control company.

Protecting Your Home Investment

US Navy 090902-N-2888Q-003 Petty Officer 3rd C...

Your home is likely the largest single monetary investment you will ever make. Taking care of it will keep you and your loved ones healthy and happy, and regular maintenance will preserve the value of your investment. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Cleanliness

 

Keep your home clean! Regular and frequent cleaning of a home will maintain its condition better than hiring a cleaning crew once a year—and if you wait that long, you’ll need the HAZMAT team.

There is simply no substitute for once-a-week (or more often) cleaning such as vacuuming, wiping down the bathrooms, mopping the kitchen floor, dusting, disposing of unusable food in the refrigerator and carrying out the trash. Daily maintenance of a home means wiping up messes as soon as they occur, picking up clutter, and cleaning up dishes. All family members, including children, should learn to clean up after themselves. Many homeowners have everyone remove their shoes when coming in from outdoors. Speaking from experience, I know that this practice will literally save the homeowner from having to replace the floorings every few years. A pile of shoes near the door is much easier to live with than constantly worn and soiled carpets, and scratched or broken tiles.

Less-frequent cleaning includes wiping out cupboards and drawers, polishing windows, scouring the oven, moving the fridge and cleaning behind/under it, and shampooing the carpet. While cleaning, you can spot signs of wear and tear, enabling you to fix any problems promptly, before they become bigger issues. Moreover, keeping your home clean and in good repair will make the house less susceptible to bugs, rodents, water damage, mold and mildew. Resolve problems in your home as soon as you are aware of them, whether it be a leaky pipe or a broken window.

Yard Upkeep

 

Keeping your lawn mowed, the trees trimmed and the flower beds weeded will not only beautify your home, but will also make you a good neighbor. Use a garden hose to flush out leaves that have accumulated in rain gutters, and provide proper drainage for rainwater to seep into the ground.

Sweep the porch, sidewalks and driveway, and remove the trash along the curb and gutter. For obvious reasons, put away toys, bicycles and other stuff every night. Get rid of old vehicles sitting in the driveway! Either fix them and use or sell them, or else take them to the recycling place and get some money out of them. Tidying up the yard—both front and back—will make your home more attractive and safe, and it will make the neighborhood look better, as well. If you ever want to sell your home, a buyer’s first impression—curb appeal—will be a powerful drawing card and may get you top dollar for your home.

Maintenance

 

Maintenance will cost something; however, doing no maintenance will be much more expensive. Performing maintenance yourself will cut costs and help you develop the skills for long-term services on your own home. Painting the interior of your home, for example, requires the purchase of paint rollers trays, tarps and other equipment; however, you will save thousands of dollars on hiring the job out. Major hardware stores can answer any questions about home maintenance projects, and they offer classes for customers who want to install tile and other such jobs. Once you have the skill, you can apply it to other areas in the home.

When you are serious about buying a home, have a reliable building inspector come and examine the house. He should check the foundation and other structural issues, the plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical systems, roof, etc. He will probably charge you around $300, but he can warn you about potential problems, or else assure you that the home is sound. His fee is a small price to pay for your awareness of the home’s condition.

Do not hesitate to hire a professional once a year to check the furnace to make sure it is working properly and doesn’t pose any dangers to the home’s occupants. An old or malfunctioning furnace can be life threatening, and it’s worth the investment to have an expert find and take care of potential problems. Make sure you invest in contents insurance to make sure your valuables are protected from any unforeseen disaster.

The best thing about having a clean and well-maintained home, inside and outside, is that it also makes you feel good about yourself; you’re proud to live there. You are comfortable in having visitors come, and people are glad to have you as a neighbor. Moreover, you will save a lot of money by learning home maintenance skills and doing the maintenance yourself.

About the Author: David Glenn is an expert in DIY home improvement techniques and interior design consulting. With his vast experience in the field, he hopes his writing can help people learn and save money through DIY projects.

 

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