Making Your Home More Comfortable

Termite Season for the Unintiated: What to Ignore and When to Scream

Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Termite Season for the Unintiated: What to Ignore and When to Scream

If you’ve just moved to an area of the country where termites are a regular threat, you might be wondering just how much of a fight you’re in for. How do you protect your home? Do clouds of these things descend on any wood sources in a frenzy? The good news is that you can calm down; there are ways to fight these things off, and other than a few minor issues, you’re not going to have to do much at all. It’s good to learn the basics about termite protection, though, so you know what you’re dealing with should you see anything termite related. Tenting Timing One of the enduring symbols of termite protection is the big, colorful tent that surrounds a home being sprayed for an infestation. Know that it is more common for tenting to be done when a house is being sold. Tenting can still be done on a house that is not being sold if an infestation has gotten out of hand, but if you discover a termite problem after you’ve occupied the house, there are other methods that exterminators can use to eliminate the problem provided it isn’t a massive, out-of-control infestation. When buying (or even renting) a house, find out when it was last fumigated for termites and have a pest-control company do a termite inspection before you buy (you can work that into the purchase agreement as a contingency). If you’ve already bought and didn’t do an inspection because you didn’t know any better, get an inspection done now to ensure that anything that might be around doesn’t get worse. And don’t worry that you’ll have to have the place immediately tented. As mentioned, there are other treatments that allow you to stay in your home during treatment. The Lifecycle You should also learn what the various incarnations of termites look like because that will help you figure out what to do. Seeing a few dead adult termites in your home in late summer and early fall is a lot different than seeing a few live baby termites. A Few Adults Here and There Speaking of those adults, if you see a few adult termites, either dead or alive, winged or having lost their wings, during the hottest part of the day in late summer and early fall, don’t worry. Really. That’s their swarming time (don’t worry about that either yet), and it’s not unusual to see a few adults each day. Key is that lack of worrying is that the termites are adults and that there are few of them. Those are basically scouts that just flew in. Give it a few days and then call a termite-control company to do a basic inspection if you’re still worried. You don’t have to do that, actually, but it can make you feel better to know that you’ve had a professional look for signs of a newly established termite territory. Damage Detail Termite damage is rather interesting; they chew down into wood, forming a series of holes that seem to enter the wood at an angle, forming what look like tubes. If you do see anything like that appear on your property, call a termite company immediately. Signs of damage mean termites have taken hold, but they can still be eliminated. If...

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4 Steps To Take After You Discover Bed Bugs In Your Home

Posted by on July 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Steps To Take After You Discover Bed Bugs In Your Home

Discovering bed bugs in your home can be very stressful and frustrating. These blood sucking pests can reproduce rapidly, so if you see one bed bug there is a good chance that you have an infestation somewhere in your home. Luckily, a bed bug infestation can be taken care of. If there are bed bugs in your home, take the following steps: Contact a Pest Control Company Bed bugs are not a type of pest that you can easily get rid of yourself. In order to prevent the infestation from getting worse, it is essential to contact a pest control company that specializes in bed bug control. A pest control technician will know how to identify the areas where bed bugs are present, and will also be familiar with which types of insecticides to use in order to kill off the bed bugs. Launder Everything After discovering bed bugs, it is important to launder your towels, sheets, pillow cases, blankets, and clothing. In order to prevent accidentally spreading bed bugs throughout your home, place items in a plastic bag and seal the top while transporting to your washer. When laundering, make sure you use the hottest setting on both your washer and dryer. Place the clean items into a new plastic bag and tightly seal it–do not put items away until after the pest control company has completed the bed bug treatment. Eliminate Hiding Spots Bed bugs tend to love cluttered areas where there are a lot of things to hide under. Prior to your bed bug treatment, clean up clutter in any room where bed bugs have been spotted, and make sure the floor is clear. While cleaning up, it is also important to make sure that the area under your bed is completely clear. It is a good idea to vacuum the floor, drapes, and any upholstered furniture in a room that has bed bugs, but be sure you dispose of the contents of the vacuum in a plastic bag and then tightly seal it and take it outside of your home. Protect Your Mattress After a bed bug treatment is completed, it is a good idea to purchase encasements for your mattress and box spring. Encasements designed for bed bug control fit tightly on the mattress/box spring and can be zipped closed. This will ensure that any bed bug or eggs that happened to survive the bed bug treatment will not be able to escape and will eventually die.   Click here for bed bug control, or do an online...

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Bed Bugs And Insecticide Resistance: 3 Things You Need To Know

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bed Bugs And Insecticide Resistance: 3 Things You Need To Know

Many types of household pests can be dispatched with a can of bug spray, but getting rid of bed bugs isn’t so easy. This is because bed bugs are resistant to many of the pesticides that can be used to kill them. Here are three things you need to know about bed bugs and insecticide resistance. Which pesticides are bed bugs resistant to? Bed bugs are resistant to both pyrethroids and neonicotinoids. Pyrethroids are used in most household insecticides, and they work by attacking an insect’s nervous system, which paralyzes and then kills them. Neonicotinoids include imidacloprid, the world‘s most commonly used insecticide. These pesticides are similar to nicotine and also target an insect’s nervous system. How did bed bugs become resistant? Pyrethroids and neonicotinoids have been used for a long time. First-generation pyrethroids were introduced back in the 1960s, while neonicotinoids were developed in the 1980s. Since the average life span of a bed bug is between six and 12 months, bed bugs have been exposed to these pesticides for a number of generations. Over time, they’ve developed 14 different genes that protect them from pesticides, and they’ve passed these genes on to their descendants. These genes help the bed bugs produce large quantities of an enzyme that breaks down toxins. When you spray a bed bug with a common household insecticide, it produces this enzyme. Resistant bed bugs also have a mutation in their nervous system that keeps the pesticides from binding to their nervous system, so they won’t become paralyzed or die. What does this mean for homeowners? What this means for you is that getting rid of bed bugs inside your home will take a lot more than just a can of bug spray or a single visit from an exterminator. Since bed bugs are resistant to pesticides, exterminators need to use integrated pest management to get rid of them. Integrated pest management uses a combination of chemical and non-chemical treatment methods, and it’s a lot of work for everyone involved. For example, you may need to wash all of your clothing and bedding in hot water. You may also need to treat items that can’t be washed, like suitcases, in a heat-generating device designed for this purpose. Your exterminator may also tell you to put household items in your freezer to kill the bed bugs. You’ll also need to keep your house very clean to give the bed bugs fewer places to hide. Since bed bugs are resistant to common insecticides, getting rid of them takes a lot more than just bug spray. Contact a licensed exterminator to help you get rid of the bugs with integrated pest management. Companies like Godfather’s Exterminating Inc. may be able to meet your needs in this...

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Tree Diseases And Pest Infestations That Strike The Blue Palo Verde Tree – And How To Prevent Damage

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tree Diseases And Pest Infestations That Strike The Blue Palo Verde Tree – And How To Prevent Damage

The blue palo verde is a moderately tall shrub-like tree with distinctive blue-green branches and needles. The tree blooms yellow flowers in the spring, sheds its needles during dry periods, and experiences growths after rains. If you live in a desert-like climate, a blue palo verde tree might serve as a great, colorful addition to your yard or property. Owning a tree of any type requires some maintenance, which can include monitoring the tree for signs of tree diseases and insect infestations and calling in a tree care service for help where needed. What are some of the tree diseases that commonly strike the blue palo verde tree?  Slime Flux Slime flux is a bacterial disease that causes a wet, foul-smelling ooze to flow down the bark from weak spots in the wood. The ooze damages and can kill the tree tissue it drips down onto. In a mostly healthy tree, the slime flux isn’t a major threat to the life of the tree. If the tree has quite a bit of damage due to improper watering or storms, the disease can worsen. Severe slime flux can start to cause general dieback in the tree, which can cause an abundance of needle shedding and the flowers to fall off earlier in the year. Minor to moderate slime flux infections can be treated by a tree trimming service carefully pruning off the affected branches. Severe slime flux might cause the death of the tree following a few years of decreasing health. A tree removal service will take care of the tree in the case of severe slime flux. Ganoderma Root Rot This fungal root rot infection takes hold first in the root and can cause significant damage underground before major symptoms become visible aboveground. And above ground symptoms are similar to general dieback with premature flower and needle loss and weakening branch growth. Severe root rot can cause knobby conks to form on the branch bark. The best chances for the tree to survive the infection is a previous heartiness and regular pruning and maintenance by a tree care service. If the conks are already present on the bark, call in a tree removal service as the root rot has become too severe to treat. Dead roots can cause the tree to tip over during a windstorm. Root Borers Root borers are a type of beetle that can infest the blue palo verde tree. Female borers lay eggs in the soil near the tree’s roots. When the larvae hatch, the larvae feed on the tree material in the roots. Heavy root borer infestations can cause significant root damage or make the tree more vulnerable to root diseases. The larvae can then grow to become adults, which are large, cockroach-like pests. If you suspect a root borer infestation, call in a tree care service or pest control service to help deal with the problem. Adults can often be plucked out by hand but larvae or eggs might require chemical treatments. For a pest control service, contact a business such as Kettle Moraine Pest...

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5 Tips to Keep Your Lawn in Good Shape

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips to Keep Your Lawn in Good Shape

It’s best not to underestimate the importance of a beautiful and healthy lawn. If your lawn is well-taken care of, it can improve the look of your home and even increase your property value. Maintaining a good-looking lawn will definitely take some extra work on your part, but it is worth the effort. Here are five helpful tips to keep your lawn in good shape. Do Not Mow the Grass Too Short Many homeowners make the mistake of mowing their grass too short. Doing this can damage your lawn and make it more susceptible to weed growth. GreenView Fertilizer recommends keeping your grass height between 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Aim to cut your grass twice a week in the middle of the spring. Remember to Fertilize  If you want to keep your lawn as healthy as possible, using fertilizer is a must. Fertilizer will give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow thick and healthy. Once you have fertilized your lawn, you’ll probably notice how it grows much faster. Using fertilizer will also minimize weed growth on your lawn. If you’d rather not do the task yourself, consider hiring a local lawn fertilizing company, such as Collins Lawn/Insect Control. Provide Your Lawn With Adequate Water If your lawn does not receive the water it needs, it will eventually dry out and die. According to Green Grass, your grass requires at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water a week. Don’t forget to water your lawn two to three times a week; it’s best to do so in the early morning. Maintain Your Lawn Mower It is also very important to keep your mower in top shape. If the lawn mower is worn or dirty, it will not cut your grass as well. Make sure the engine cover is not filled with grass and other debris and remember to replace worn out spark plugs. Train Your Dog to Use the Bathroom in One Spot in the Yard Dog urine can result in yellow and dead spots on your lawn. To prevent your entire lawn from getting damaged, train your dog to do his or her business in just one area of the lawn. Put gravel in the area you want your dog to use the bathroom and encourage him or her to go there. Give your canine friend treats to reinforce the good behavior. Keeping your lawn in terrific shape does not have to be a difficult task. If you follow these helpful tips, you can maintain a beautiful lawn and make your neighbors green with...

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Handling A Bed Bug Situation In Your Apartment Complex

Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Do’s And Don’ts Of Handling A Bed Bug Situation In Your Apartment Complex

As a property owner, one of the worst things you can hear is that you have bed bugs. When you own a group of residences, such as an apartment building, finding out that even one unit has a bed bug problem can be an all-out nightmare. Bed bugs can and will travel in search of food, which means that even if you have a problem in only one unit of a complex, the problem could quickly spread to the rest of the building. If one of your tenants informs you of a bed bug problem as an owner of an apartment complex, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you must keep in mind.  Do inform every tenant in the building that there has been a bed bug occurrence.  Keeping everyone informed about a bed bug problem will be your best bet as a property owner. Not only is it your duty as the landlord to ensure that all tenants are aware of a bed bug situation, but in some states, you may be held liable for damages legally if you do not inform your tenants.  Don’t hesitate to let everyone know that you have contacted pest control.  Before you go knocking on apartment doors or sending out flyers, get a pest control agent on board. It is a lot easier to tell a building full of tenants about a bed bug problem when you know you already have a solution in place.  Do expect that some tenants may move.  Bed bugs are a scary situation, and no one wants to deal with these pests if they don’t have to. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you have some tenants willing to break a lease once they find out there is a bed bug issue in the building. As a property owner, you should be understanding of this reaction and work with your tenants fairly by being a bit more lenient with the terms of the lease.  Don’t allow a tenant to place disposed furnishings near the building.  If one of your tenants decides to get rid of a bed bug infested piece of furniture, whether it is a mattress, sofa, or otherwise, make sure they know that they must dispose of the piece away from the building. Hauling infested furniture outside will only contribute to the spread of the problem. If several tenants are throwing things out, arrange for a commercial dumpster or waste management company to swing by and pick up items right away.  For more tips and information, contact a local pest control company like All Seasons Pest...

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2 Household Pests That May Inhabit Your Crawlspace

Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Household Pests That May Inhabit Your Crawlspace

If you have moisture in the crawlspace beneath your home, you may be welcoming some uninvited guests. Here are two household pests that will readily inhabit a damp crawlspace. Termites Termites are tiny wood-eaters that homeowners dread. They enjoy dark, damp environments and feed on moist or decayed wood. Often, because a crawlspace is not regularly inspected, a termite infestation can go unnoticed until thousands of dollars of damage has already been done.  Here are a few signs that termites have already taken residence in your home: There may be small piles of wings around your crawlspace entryway or on the window sills of your home. When winged  termites find a new place to infest, they often mate to add to the size of their colony. As they mate, they sometimes shed their wings.  Mud lines on the walls outside of your crawlspace are often a sign of termites. The insects are sensitive to arid, bright conditions, so to move about above ground, termites build mud tunnels as pathways from their underground home to the outside destinations that they frequent. The tunnels allow the insects to move about in the damp, dark conditions to which they are accustomed.  Puckered wood around your crawlspace can also indicate the presence of termites. Many wood products used in the construction of your home are a combination of hard and soft woods. Termites prefer soft wood, so they are apt to eat the soft portions of a wood plank and leave the hard wood portions in place. This results in a hollowing or puckering of the wood. American Cockroaches American cockroaches often inhabit a moist crawlspace. These large flying bugs, which are sometimes called waterbugs because of their affinity for moisture, can grow to be more than 1.5 inches long. The roaches enjoy feeding on decaying matter. In addition, they will eat book bindings, clothing and sweets. Still, the moisture in a crawlspace may be particularly attractive because the insects are more dependent on water than food. An American cockroach can live up to three months without food. However, they can only survive about 30 days without water. Here are  few signs that your crawlspace is inhabited by American cockroaches: Brown, cylindrical egg capsules may be attached to corner walls, wooden beams or decaying wood.  The bugs love dark areas, so if you suddenly flood your crawlspace with light, you may see the large insects scatter. Black pepper-like debris could indicate bug droppings. Insect infestations can be difficult to control without the help of a professional. If you suspect that bugs are inhabiting your crawlspace, contact a pest control specialist like Bug Busters...

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Have A Problem With Fire Ants? 3 Quick Ways To Eliminate The Itch

Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have A Problem With Fire Ants? 3 Quick Ways To Eliminate The Itch

Have you noticed fresh mounds of dirt popping up around your yard? If you have, you might be in the middle of a fire ant infestation. Fire ants like to keep to themselves by tunneling underground. Unfortunately, once the nest mound is disturbed, the ants will come out by the hundreds. If you’re nearby when that happens, you’re going to be stung. Because fire ants live primarily underground, it can be difficult to control them by yourself, which means you’re going to need a professional exterminator. However, you’re also going to need to know how to battle the sting if you’re bitten before the exterminator can get out to your home. Here are three simple ways to fight the bite. Soak it in Borax When fire ants bite, they inject a natural acid into your skin that can cause itching, redness and inflammation. Soaking the area in borax will help reduce the pain and swelling. Pour 1 cup of borax in a tub of warm water. Soak in the tub for 10 minutes, or until your skin is soothed. Juice it up If you have fresh lemons, you can use the juice to alleviate the painful itch of an ant bite. The citric acid in lemons will neutralize the acid found in ant bites. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice on to the bite. Take the Ammonia and Peroxide Approach When you combine ammonia and peroxide, they work together to reduce the pain and itching associated with ant bites. Here are two simple ways to use the two together. Compresses For this treatment, you’ll need two clean wash cloths, ammonia, and peroxide. Soak your wash cloths in warm water. Pour ammonia on one of the wash cloths and peroxide on the other one. Wring them both out well. Place the ammonia cloth on the bites and leave it there for about five minutes. Now, switch to the peroxide cloth. Continue alternating cloths until the itching subsides. Spray Application For this treatment, you’ll need two spray bottles. Fill both bottles with warm water. Place ¾ cup of ammonia in one bottle and ¾ cup of peroxide in the other one. Spray each bite with the ammonia solution and let it air dry. Next, spray the bites with the peroxide. Repeat the process several times Don’t mess with fire ants. If you’ve found fire ants in your yard, contact an exterminator like Aardvark Pest Control or others as soon as possible. If you or someone in your family has been bitten by the ants, use the methods described above to alleviate the painful...

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4 Landscaping Tricks To Keep Mosquitoes Away For Good

Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Landscaping Tricks To Keep Mosquitoes Away For Good

Heading outdoors to enjoy your backyard may be the last thing on your mind if you live in an area that has a large mosquito population. While you can certainly rely on pest control or add candles that use citronella, these methods can be harmful to pets or uncomfortable for you due to the chemicals and odors. In order to keep mosquitos away, while keeping your backyard safe and inviting, consider the following tricks to implement in your landscaping. Attract the Local Wildlife An easy way to control the mosquito population outdoors is by introducing some of their natural predators. Depending on the local wildlife can help make your yard livelier, while providing a helpful form of mosquito control. The following creatures can all play a part in reducing the mosquito population in your yard: Gambusia Affinis, also known as the mosquito fish Dragonflies and damselflies Bats Purple Martin birds Providing flora and proper nesting spots for the creatures above can help attract them and make a difference in the amount of mosquitos you see. Carefully Select the Right Plants When choosing plants for your yard, it is a good idea to choose ones specially for their mosquito controlling capabilities. The list below includes several great options that you can add to your landscaping: Catnip Lemon balm Peppermint Basil Rosemary Add a Backyard Pond Since mosquito fish can help control mosquito populations by eating larvae that grows in water, you can reduce the amount of pests you see by adding a backyard pond. Whether you go with something simple like a shallow bowl- even a cat litter box- or spend the money to make an attractive landscaping feature, you can notice an enormous difference with the mosquitos you see by adding a pond and mosquito fish. Stay Away from Large Bodies of Water A common reason why you may be seeing a lot of mosquitos in your backyard is due to being near a large water source, such as a creek or lake. While moving may not be an option, you can design your backyard so where you spend time the most is located as far away from the water as possible. Designing your backyard for the first time or simply making some changes to the landscaping should be done with mosquitos in mind. Whether you are experiencing a lot more mosquitos than usual or are simply preparing for the future, consider the above tips to combat these pests safely.  For professional pest control, contact a company such as Commonwealth Exterminating...

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More Than A Snake In The Grass: When To Call A Pest Removal Company

Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More Than A Snake In The Grass: When To Call A Pest Removal Company

Spending time out in the backyard with your family should be something enjoyable, but if you or another family member comes across a slithering snake in the grass, what should be a peaceful gathering can easily become a fear fest. No one ever likes to think that there could be snakes slithering around in their own backyard, but it can happen, especially in areas that have high snake populations. Even though the occasional snake will simply mosey on about its way and really should be no cause for alarm, there are a few things you likely want to know about pest removal just in case. How much does it cost to have a pest removed from your property? The costs associated with pest removal are a bit harder to pin down than those that are associated with simple pest treatment. This is because there are a lot of factors that can affect the overall cost of what a pest control company will charge, including: The type of pest it is that you are dealing with – When it comes to pest removal, every pest control agent feels differently about removing specific types of pests. A snake, for example, may be a pest that one agent doesn’t mind dealing with and has a great deal of experience, while some agents may prefer to not mess with snake removal simply because they don’t have a lot of prior experience. How many pests need to be eliminated – If you have an issue with just one snake, it is no big deal in most cases. But if you have one snake, there could be a chance that you have several, which will cost more to remove. The size of your property – You will be charged according to the size of your property because the larger the area is that the pest control agent will have to cover, the more time and materials will have to be used in order to capture the pest. Should you keep your family inside the house until the snake is removed? If you are unfamiliar with the type of snake it is that you have came across in the backyard area, it may be a good idea to steer clear of the area until the animal has been removed. Some snakes are not only poisonous, but aggressive, which is something you don’t want to expose your family members to. The good news is, however, that most pest removal agents will respond fairly quickly to calls about animals that could pose a potential threat, such as snakes and other wildlife. So even if you do have to steer clear of the area for a bit, it typically will not be for long. So if you notice a snake or other large pest on your property, contact local pest removal services, such as Select Pest Control,...

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