It’s that time of year when the nights get chilly and we crank up the fireplace. Though gas logs have become immensely popular, there are still plenty of homes doing it the old fashioned way, with real, wood fire places. If this applies to you, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of bringing wood inside your home so you can prevent problems from occurring.
We’ve discussed termite issues on this blog before, but as a refresher, termites feed on wood. The most common type of termite in the United States is the eastern subterranean termite. This species has to maintain contact with the soil at all times so that they don’t dry out. So the question remains, how do you avoid bringing them into your home on firewood? Continue reading
The cool temperatures of fall and winter send many pests running for the heated indoors. Among them are mice. These tiny rodents can cause a host of problems. They will scurry about at nighttime in search of food, potentially contaminating items in your pantry, leaving behind unpleasant droppings and sometimes even causing serious damage by chewing through wires or in the extreme case, walls. If you haven’t encountered mice in your home yet, you certainly don’t want to.
Most homeowners shudder at the thought of termites, and rightfully so. These creatures play a key role in the ecosystem by breaking down decaying matter. However, they will also happily breakdown wood in your home. There are many different species of termites in the United States, but the one that is by far the most popular is the eastern subterranean termite. This termite can be found in over half the states and is responsible for billions of dollars of damage to structures every year.
This species builds its nest underground and maintains close contact with soil at all times, otherwise it would dry out. When these termites infest a home, they will build mud tubes to transport themselves around the area. They also replace the wood that they consume with soil to keep themselves surrounded with it. Continue reading
Many of us have had the unpleasant experience of a fruit fly infestation. These pests can be brought in on produce and multiply rapidly, feeding on any accessible food sources in your kitchen. The frustrating part is that people rarely see any evidence of fruit flies when they purchase fruit or vegetables. These pests often appear to spontaneously generate out of thin air. While they sometimes come home with you in or on produce, fruit flies can also come from outside as they are very common bugs.
One of the most obvious ways to prevent fruit flies is to keep fruit covered or put away when you aren’t using. However, there are plenty of other types of food that attract the attention of fruit flies. These pests primarily eat yeast, therefore alcohol left out is another major attractor of fruit flies. Continue reading
No one likes to have bugs in their home, but a rodent problem is even more unnerving. Squirrels aren’t usually considered a pest and don’t carry the same unsettling connotation that rats do. However, if they manage to get inside your home, they will quickly become your enemy. Squirrels may not be known for carrying diseases the way some other rodents are, but they can still be a major nuisance. They will run amuck in your attic, especially at night, which can make for some sleepless nights.
Squirrels usually move indoors to escape the cold weather and to look for a safe place to breed. The problem with squirrels is that once one moves into your home, several more will likely join. Squirrels leave behind a scent that attracts more squirrels. Continue reading
As you’ve hopefully discovered, this blog is designed to provide you with useful information on how to manage pests in your home. But to change things up today, I thought we’d add a little humor. Pests in your home can be frustrating, overwhelming and a source of major anxiety. However, I think most of us have experienced a few amusing moments when it comes to dealing with unwanted critters. To lighten up the drudgery of pest control issues, here are a few of the silliest pest-related incidences I’ve heard of.
- What do you do when you’re on your way out the door and see a large frog sitting in the middle of your kitchen? If you’re my sister, you certainly don’t bother getting it outside out of your home. Place a Tupperware container over it, trapping it, and leave it there for your husband to take care of. Not recommended.
- How do you deal with a lizard inside of your home? If I followed my grandmother’s example I would spray it with wasp killer until it was stunned into moving at a crawl and then beat it with a broom. Also not recommended, many would frown upon this tactic. Continue reading
Coqui frog found in Hawaii http://www.flickr.com/photos/hawaii-mcgraths/4260828200/
Since most of our posts focus on problems specific to the mainland, we decided to dedicate one of our articles to pest problems in Hawaii. While many of the pest topics we address may apply to our readers in Hawaii, we are aware that you have some pests that are very specific to your region. Today’s topic is the coqui frog.
This species of frog was introduced to Hawaii in the late 80s, arriving via Puerto Rico. The warm, humid climate that makes this state such a popular vacation spot, is also what allows pests like this to flourish. Additionally, there are no natural predators for the coqui frog in Hawaii, which has allowed its population to explode. Continue reading
Your kitchen is one of the most problematic areas of the home when it comes to pest problems. The main reason for this is the obvious access to food. Another, less obvious reason, is that many homes have kitchens located near an exterior door, which gives bugs a quick entry to this room. It’s important that you practice good pest control habits in your pantry as pest problems in this room can extend to the rest of your home.
Everyone knows that keeping a house clean and picking up crumbs helps prevent pests. However, keeping these critters out of your pantry and cabinets is a bit more intensive. It’s a good idea to do a serious, deep clean of your kitchen about every 6 months. This involves removing all the items from your cabinets and clearing away any hidden spills. Continue reading
When you see them outdoors, many people think lizards are fun, fascinating creatures. Find one inside, and it’s a whole different story. If you frequently see lizards around the exterior of your home, there is no reason they might not try to make their way into your home. Here are a few tips on how to keep them out.
One of the most important ways to keep lizards out of your home is to keep other bugs out. This may sound like a silly suggestion since no one is intentionally inviting pests into their home, but if you aren’t keeping up with basic pest control practices, lizards will have even more reason to travel inside. Continue reading