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Tips to Pest-Proof Your Home for Fall

As the colder months begin to arrive, making sure your home is prepared for all those little critters in and around your home should be a top priority. Our partner, Terminix, has created a list, of how to pest-proof your home for the fall months and what part of the home to do so. Have you already gotten your home pest-proof or have you been holding off until a later date? These tips may make you get your home pest-proofed much sooner than you were originally planning.

Now that the seasons are starting to transition and it’s not 100 degrees outside, you need to make sure your home is ready for fall. Here are a few areas you should inspect in and around your home to help keep pests out as the summer wanes and leaves change.

PEST PROOF YOUR ATTIC/ROOF

“Check for mice, squirrels or raccoons already living here. Trap them and then seal off the entrances. Trapping prior to sealing is important.”

PEST PROOF YOUR WALLS

“While subterranean termites generally swarm as the weather starts to warm up, some species actually can swarm year round. However, you can identify and eradicate all species now. Check for:

  • Wood-colored termite droppings
  • Damage to the wood grain of your home
  • Visible mud tunnels or tubes
  • Actual small winged insects leaving wooden structures.”

PEST PROOF YOUR PORCH

“When it’s time to bring your plants in for the winter, make sure to do it right to avoid carrying in unwanted guests along with them. Remove dead or damaged leaves, check the pots thoroughly and water them to flush insects out of the dirt before bringing them inside. Scrub the pot, too, as spiders will often lay eggs on the bottom of terra cotta pots.”

PEST PROOF YOUR WINDOWS

“Check screens for damage and fix any openings to keep out mosquitoes, stink bugs, ladybugs and more.”

PEST PROOF YOUR BEDROOM

“Getting rid of bed bugs is no easy task, so be thorough and committed in your efforts. Regularly wash everything, including bedding, curtains and mattress covers. Always keep an eye out for bugs on your mattress, headboard and bedframe when replacing your sheets. You’re looking for:

  • Shed bed bug skins, exoskeletons or shells
  • Fecal stains on your mattress and bedding
  • Blood stains on your sheets and pajamas”

PEST PROOF YOUR FLOORS

“Insect hibernation is no joke, and your nice warm home is a great place to wake up. As part of your seasonal inspection and bug prevention, vacuum every floor surface and use the nozzle attachment to get everywhere — you never know where a hibernating boxelder bug or flea eggs could be hidden. Inspect the legs and underside of furniture for pests that can easily make their way to and from your carpet.”

PEST PROOF YOUR ROOF

“Rats and mice can fit through a lot of tight spaces, especially when it’s freezing outside and warm and welcoming inside, so you’ll want to inspect for even the smallest potential points of entry. Take time (and a ladder!) to carefully check every inch of your home’s exterior. Address any potential entrances such as loose shingles or portions of your roof that may be pulling away from the awning. Examine all vents, roof returns, flashing along your chimney and skylights for gaps that could give pests easy access to your home.”

Quoted Content Sourced From Terminix

Keep Your Pets And Your Home Flea-Free With These Tips

Fleas are one of the biggest threats, if not the biggest threat to pets and can also effect humans as well. Fleas can cause issues like disease, tapeworms, and more if not taken care of right away, that means having your carpeting checked and cleaned. Not to mention, fleas aren’t just confined to humans and dogs, they can also be found on cats, birds and other species. Our friends at Terminix have outlined several ways to rid your home of fleas and giving your pets and yourself an itch free life. Check out their tips below and let us know any flea horror stories you might have had as a homeowner!

1. Know the basics.

“It is common to hear the phrase “house flea” used when battling an infestation, but this term is misleading. There are actually about 2,000 different flea species. The types most often found near people include human, cat, dog, sticktight and Oriental rat fleas. Treatment methods are the same for all types; however, cat fleas are responsible for most home infestations.”

2. Check your pets for signs of fleas.

“Cat fleas can infest both felines and canines, especially those that are allowed to roam outdoors. Symptoms include excessive scratching, small black flecks on your pet’s coat and small red areas where bites have occurred. A quick way to determine if you have a problem is to check your animal’s underbelly – where fur is thinner – to see if live fleas are visible.”

3. Check your home and yard for fleas.

“Once fleas are confirmed, you will need to see how far into your space these pests have spread. While they require a live host, fleas spend up to 90 percent of their time on the ground or surface in areas where the host is active. When checking these areas, pay special attention to pet bedding and any areas of high activity. Look for small black flecks as well as live fleas. A good way to check flooring is to put on a pair of white socks and slowly walk through the space. Fleas are attracted to body heat and should jump onto the socks, where they will show up as small, dark moving spots. The white sock trick can also be used to walk across any areas of the yard where pets spend a lot of time (dog houses, decks, patios, shady spots, etc.)”

4. Find the best flea treatment.

“Flea treatments for cats and dogs will differ slightly. Flea collars, topical products (dip, dust, spray or liquids) and flea shampoos are some of the most common options used for flea prevention. Dosage and effectiveness vary by both product and the type of animal. Call your veterinarian if you want an expert opinion on which treatments to use for your specific pets.”

5. Don’t forget to treat the environment.

“How to kill fleas in the house is different than the methods used for an outdoor space.

Indoor treatment starts with cleaning. Vacuum surfaces where pets are often present, disposing of the vacuum bag away from your home. This will help remove fleas, flea eggs and flea feces. Pet bedding — and any human bedding that has contact with your animals — should be washed in hot water to kill any fleas that may be present. Using a steam cleaner kills all stages of the flea life cycle. Additionally, there are chemical options that are effective against fleas. If you are unsure if your situation requires the use of chemical control methods, call a pest management professional.

Outdoor treatment is only necessary when a high number of fleas have been found. Adult fleas don’t live long if they lack access to a host. Thebest flea treatment outside is to apply an approved insecticide to areas where pets play and rest, the edges of the foundation and any decks or patios you may have. You may want to have a pest management professional treat crawl spaces below your home for fleas, as well, as flea-infested feral animals may enter into these locations.”

6. Be patient.

“Successfully getting rid of a flea problem will take a few weeks. Fleas in the pupal stage are resistant to conventional treatments. This means they will hatch after your initial eradication attempts. By continuing to vacuum or steam-treat surfaces where fleas were initially found, as well as following the instructions for reapplications of flea control products to your furry friends, you can ensure that these new fleas die quickly.”

7. Don’t live in fear.

“There’s no need to flea the scene if you suspect these pests are in your home. Also, don’t let the possibility of fleas stop you from bringing home a new puppy or enjoying playtime with your feline or canine companions. Now that you know how to get rid of fleas, you can take stock of your animals and home. If you discover a problem, pick the best flea treatment method for the situation and send those pests packing.”

Quoted Content Sourced From Terminix

 

Termite Tips – What To Do and What Not To Do

Termites can cause any homeowner huge headaches if they’re not discovered nor taken care of as soon as possible. Termites can roam around your home undetected if you don’t know what to look for or what to do once discovered. Our client, Bulwark Exterminating, has highlighted several tips on what to do if you discover termites in your home, and what not to do when you discover termites.  Has your home ever been infested with termites? What did you do to take care of the problem? Share with us in the comments section below!

What To Do When You Discover Termites In Your Home

  • “When dealing with termites, reduce the amount of moisture around your house. Moisture attracts termites. Check for malfunctioning taps and gutters and have them corrected. Create proper ventilation in areas of the house where moisture is likely to develop.
  • Look for any cracks on wooden structures and seal them. This will prevent termites from entering into the wood through the crack.
  • Another option is to fill in the gaps or cracks with sand, as termites cannot build colonies where there is fine sand.
  • While replacing compromised wooden structures, switch them out for juniper, cedar and redwood, as termites prefer them least.
  • There is a chance of termites returning years later. Conduct yearly termite home inspections to any problems at an early stage.”

What NOT To Do When You Discover Termites In Your Home

  • “When you discover a colony of termites on the perimeter of your home, it is best to leave the colony alone. Disturbing the colony may drive them even closer, perhaps into your home.
  • Don’t attempt to exterminate a termite colony on your own, as some chemicals can be hazardous to humans, plants and pets; as can inexperience handling the chemicals.
  • Don’t use mulch around the house. It is a great a source of food and water for termites. Elect instead for rubber mulches, as an alternative to the wooden variety.
  • Do not store lumber or waste on your property. This will only attract termites.”

Quoted Content Sourced from Bulwark Exterminating

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