It is likely that every house-owner entertains a certain degree of concern over whether or not his house is infested by termites. The thought of your precious wooden beams and floors being eaten away by these small devils is a dark one indeed. It is estimated that approximately 2 billion dollars are spent annually in the United States in order to defend homes from these voracious wood-eating winged insects.
But as much as you hate termites, the truth is that humans are as destructive as they are. Just think about it this way: Yes, it is true that termites can beak down a house in a matter of months, but we are as much to blame as they are. We take down miles and miles of forests to satisfy our needs and build houses. Termites play an important role in maintaining an ecosystem, because they chop of unnecessary wood, and make enough space for other trees to start growing. Because humans have destroyed so many acres of precious „food”, that it seems only natural that they have come to your home to feast. But how do you know if your sanctuary is being eaten away by angry termites?
Signs of Termite Infestation
Assuming that termites are your enemies, you should know them very well before proceeding further. You should know from the start that these insects live in a structured society. Kings and queens are at the top of the chain, and there there are reproductives, soldiers and workers. Much like honey bees, winged termites which are capable of reproduction, will at some point leave the nest in search of a new turf. Swarms are the first sign that your house might be infested. I advise you to make a termite bond if you live in termite friendly areas.
Anyway, once they find a new turf, the ville little insects will bore into the soil or wood and start mating. When they are done mating, they will let the children take care of them, and like every being on the planet, once you eat you also have to poop. Excrements are the second sign of termite infestation. You should know that termites are extremely fragile creatures, which require water. The third sign of termite infestation is mud tubes. If you want to estimate the amount of damage that termites have done, follow the mud tube, and if it ends in a structural beam, push a screw driver through it. If it goes in easily, it means that termites have already hollowed the inside of the wooden beam.
At this point you should call an exterminator, and also estimate the structural damages. It is in these cases that a termite bond is necessary, because it means that you will be covered.
Mice can infest any home. They are found in barns or solitary houses in rural areas, and they also thrive in apartments or buildings in big cities. Oftentimes, residents don’t even notice that they have mice in their homes, not until the creatures have already done considerable damage to property or possessions. Having mice around is really a serious problem, and once these creatures have made their way into your home, it can be difficult to get them out. But there are several ways to address the problem, and some are discussed below.
1. Use glue traps.
Some believe that using glue traps, also known as sticky traps, is inhumane because the mice that get trapped die a slow death. However, if you have a severe mouse problem, then it is one of the methods that you can use to catch mice. Simply place glue traps in places where you often see mice trails. Since mice also like to run along walls, put a few traps near such areas as well. Also, place some underneath the kitchen sink and furniture.
2. Put mouse traps.
Choose smaller traps to catch mice because the bigger ones won’t work that well. Put traps perpendicular to a corner, or have these behind furniture or chairs. The more deserted an area is, the bolder a mice will be in approaching a trap. Use peanut butter, meat and caramel as bait because cheese doesn’t often work.
There are different kinds of traps. Electronic traps and mouse traps kill captured mice, but there are also humane traps. In case you have opted for the latter, just make sure to release caught mice in a wooded area that is far from your house, and far from houses or business establishments. Mice can easily find their way back to a certain area, and you don’t want them going back to your place. Also, you don’t want to burden others with a mouse problem.
3. Safeguard your home.
Sometimes, it is quite pointless to eliminate mice from your home when your neighborhood has an ongoing rodent problem. Even though you think you have already gotten rid of the mice inside your house, others will probably find their way inside your property after some time. One way to avoid further infestation is to be on the defensive. Protect your property from these critters. Caulk or seal up holes; put screens on windows and doors; and make sure to regularly clean your surroundings. Garbage disposal should also be frequent, and bins should be securely covered. Mice are easily attracted to odors of food and other decomposing materials.
4. Call a pest control company.
It is a challenge to get rid of mice on your own, and if a serious infestation is going on inside your house or in your neighborhood, then maybe it is time for you to get help from pest control experts. Services will usually include identification of pest, full property and home inspection, trapping, and nest removal, to name a few.
Claire Lassiter is a full-time freelancer who specializes in pest control matters. She also writes reviews about companies, like Rove Pest Control, in order to help people become more informed about their options.
Many homes suffer with American cockroaches in their home. This post will outline the cockroaches, their habitat, biology and ways to eliminate and them from your home and garden.
The American cockroach is one of the largest of the household pest cockroaches. It is reddish-brown in colour with a pale yellow margin on its body behind the head area. They have the ability to fly, which it does particularly in warmer weather. Adult American cockroaches typically grow to 4cm in length.
American cockroaches are mainly found in dark, warm and moist areas, preferring temperatures of around 29 degrees centigrade. They do not tolerate the cold. However, they can live in dry areas if they have access to a water source. The cockroaches feed on a wide variety of materials, but have a preference for decaying organic waste; although they will happily eat cheese, leather, bakery products, starch in book bindings, glue, hair and flakes of dried skin. They are also able to survive for months without food.
The American cockroach has three developmental stages in its lifecycle: egg, nymph and adult. Females can produce up to fifty egg cases that contain 10-16 eggs which are about 0.8cm by 0.5cm in size. After the female carries the case for approximately two days, the egg cases are glued to items that are often transported, for example cardboard boxes or wooden crates. Immature cockroaches, or nymphs, emerge from these cases after 6 to 8 weeks and then take up to a year to fully mature. Adult cockroaches live for up to twelve months, with females typically producing 150 young.
How to limit infestation:
- Remove food residue from kitchen areas, especially near the refrigerator.
- Make sure all food is stored in tightly sealed containers.
- Ensure all bench tops, work surfaces, cracks and crevices are free from food scraps.
- Empty rubbish bins on a regular basis.
- Regularly get rid of accumulated cardboard boxes.
- Frequently steam clean any soiled areas.
- Install screens on any vents around the home, especially over septic tanks, to increase air flow.
- Ensure wet areas have adequate drainage.
- Fill in any cracks that have access to the roof and wall voids.
- Eliminate harbourages such as rolled carpet and stacks of paper.
- Fix household leaks, especially those from hot water systems.
- Turn mulch piles regularly.
If these tips do not assist in eliminating American cockroaches from around your home, there are professional options that will help. Call your local pest control expert for more information.
Keith Nightingale is a pest control expert at Termitrust who has over 10 years of professional industry experience working in Australia.
Ants are annoying little pests and not only do they infest our homes and contaminate our food, but they also infest and contaminate pet food. Once they do contaminate your pet’s food, your pet may refuse to eat it no matter how much you give. If your pet does eat the food, there is possibility of it getting sick or being bitten. Not only is it inconvenient for your pet’s health, but it is also a waste of money as pet food is quite costly. Whatever type of pet you may have, protecting it from ants is a necessity. You can easily and effectively get rid of ants without having to spend any money.
Eliminate Existing Ants
If your pet’s food already has ants in it you can cover the container tightly and then place it in the freezer for an hour or two. You must be certain that the ants have been in the food for a short period of time otherwise you will have to throw it out. When you freeze it, the ants will be killed and the food can be saved. After freezing the food, pour the food into a strainer in the sink and shake vigorously to get rid of the ants. Once you are sure that you have gotten rid of the dead ants, you can still serve the food.
Store And Seal Food
Instead of leaving pet food in its original container or bag, you can store them instead in zip-lock bags, air tight plastic containers and tin cans to keep ants out. Even if you have to place the pet food bag into another bag, you must do so to ensure that the pet food will not be infested by ants. In fact, if you have a severe ant infestation in your home, you might have to store the food in the freezer.
Clean Up The Feeding Area
Even small pieces of pet food can attract a swarm of ants, so cleaning up the feeding area is essential. Sweep the floor and then wash the area with a cloth and soapy water or detergent. The soap can get rid of the scent of the food and any remaining ant trails. It is also best that you wash the area from time to time. When you make cleaning a habit after every meal, you can stop the ants from infesting your pet’s food.
Make A Moat
Another way you can prevent ants from infesting pet food is by creating a moat. This is a useful method if you are unable to freeze the food or store it in another container or bag. All you need to do is pour water into a large pan and then place a brick in the center. You can then place the pet food on top of the brick or place a large tray on top of the brick before the pet food. The water will act as the moat and keep ants out, while the brick can keep the food from tipping over.
You must remember that ants will continue to hunt for food and they will return to an area they once found food. The best way to deal with ants in your home is to get a pest control professional to eradicate them.
Valerie Adams is a freelance writer specializing in safe pest control methods for the home. She also writes about different DIY methods of ant control without having to spend money and the different types of ant infestation for a local company of well experienced pest control professionals.
Raccoons are critters that are able to pry themselves into small openings. This means your home can be a potential shelter for a raccoon. The winter season is the time of year that homeowners begin to see the signs of raccoons in and around their home. Homes with moderate roof damage are an invitation for the entry of a raccoon into an attic. If you live in an area where raccoons are present, then there are ways to prevent them from entering your home.
Signs of Damage
You need to be aware of the signs of raccoon damage to know if a potential problem exists. One sign is damage to the inside of your attic or the outside of the room. Damage to the outside of the roof mean a raccoon way attempting to get inside. The most common places to see raccoon damage are under eaves on the soffits. They often chew on eave fascia boards and tear away roof shingles. Attic vents may also be broken or there may be droppings in one area of your roof. If raccoons get inside your attic, then the insulation may be flattened, flexible ducts may be torn, and wiring may be chewed. This is damage that needs to be fixed for safety and to keep the house warm.
Homeowners can take preventative measures to keep raccoons from using their home as a den or for shelter. The first thing that needs to be done is to locate any possible entry points. Entry points for raccoons include all unsecured openings that can be used to create an entrance. Garbage will need to be kept in a secured container that cannot be pried open. You should also make sure that no food is thrown in the yard. Pet food also needs to be kept in a sealed container. The best option is to keep all pet food and garbage in your garage. If this is not possible, then consider a small enclosure that can be kept secured with a lock.
Trees surrounding your home should also be cut back by at least six feet. This prevents a raccoon from easily accessing the roof. If you have a bird feeder, then attach a tray to the pole. The tray will catch all the seeds that drop from the feeder. You also need to cut back any trees near the feeder. A good way to prevent raccoons from climbing up to the roof is to attach metal flashing to wood beams.
Consult a Professional
A pest control service can provide advice and remove these animals from your home. Technicians will need to remove these animals from your home if they are present. They are able to set a trap to catch a raccoon and remove it from your property. Professionals can also check the exterior of a home to see if there are any signs of damage. You should not attempt to catch a raccoon or set any type of poison as there are health risks to consider.
Johanna Williams trusts only the experts at Affordable Wildlife Control in areas such as skunk and raccoon removal Toronto.
People that keep chickens at home will always be on full alert to ensure that rats and other similar vermin are prevented from getting anywhere near the chickens or the nest boxes. Unfortunately, chickens do attract rats, but it’s mostly the chicken’s food that the rats are looking for and not the chickens themselves. Nevertheless, rats will attack and kill chickens and take their eggs.
Mice cause fewer problems for chickens. The birds will kill and eat mice, which are a good enough reason for them to keep away, but they are still attracted to anywhere you keep or store chicken feed.
Prevention works best
Wherever you keep your chickens, you won’t want to attract rats, because apart from destroying your animals and your food supply, they may only be one step away from spreading disease to your home and your family, including your children.
Your first line of prevention must always be to keep the entire area clean. While this will deter rats from coming near your chickens, excellent hygiene will also keep your poultry healthy. These actions will also remove objectionable smells which are annoying for everyone.
If you don’t leave food lying around, rats will have no reason to target your chickens. Chickens leave food when they are overfed and rats will be happy to enjoy any leftovers.
How you store poultry food is vitally important. Rats and mice can eat their way through wood quite easily, so it is essential to buy a good storage container, with a high-quality lid, particularly if you keep your food outside. Apart from making the food difficult for rats to find, you will decrease the smell, which invites rats in to the food storage area.
If you are able to collect eggs just after they have been laid, you will remove a major food source for larger rats.
Spotting the danger early
Regular inspection of your chicken runs and nest boxes will help you spot any damage or the first signs that rats are trying to gnaw their way through wood or other obstacles.
While rats work at night, they may return regularly to try to get the food. They are easily able to chew through chicken wire which is why it is better to put a high-quality weld mesh around your chicken run, rather than using simple and cheap wire. The same weld mesh can be applied to the outside of any wooden panels where you house your chickens.
Burying chicken wire underground will help prevent rats from borrowing underneath any areas they can’t break into from over ground.
As soon as you find any signs that rats are trying to break into your chicken coop, work quickly to remove the rats from the area. These vermin carry dangerous diseases, which are not only lethal to chickens, but are also dangerous to children and adults. Effective placement of rat poison is one way to keep the rat population down, but this only works if other animals can be kept away from the area.
The best option is regular observation of your chicken run and nest boxes to help you to quickly detect when dangerous vermin are living close by. That is the most practical way to safeguard both your chickens and eggs.
Sharon writes for Solway Feeders, an excellent resource when looking for a chicken feeder or poultry rearing supplies.
Some individuals have complained of ants in their computers or gaming consoles. Because of ants, others have also lost expensive electronic gear. Rarely do people see ants invading laptops, X-box consoles and PSPs; but it does happen. Why? Wires aren’t food and the internal parts of any electronic gadget won’t be sweet either. So, how come do some species of ants invade electrical devices?
Why Ants Like Electronics
If you complain of having ants in your computer or keyboard, it’s very likely for others to blame you for the situation. They’ll tell you to stop having a snack while surfing the net or to avoid putting your devices near food or drinks. Some might also give you advice about cleanliness. Maybe they’re thinking that you didn’t wash your sticky hands after eating cookies or cake. There are people who’ll also tell you to keep your kids away from your precious Dell M6400 or your spanking new Luvaglio laptop. But even though you’ve kept your hands and your surroundings squeaky clean, and even though you have locked your costly electronics in a room where your toddlers can’t get to them, you might still have an ant problem.
Experts don’t have an exact answer yet as to why ants invade electronic devices. Some, however, speculate that ants are attracted to the heat produced by electrical gadgets. Others explain this occurrence as a result of the ant’s propensity to flock to spots that seem like good nesting grounds. The network of electrical wires provides nice areas for them to make their nests.
Is It Dangerous to Have Ants in Electronics?
Yes, it could be dangerous and costly. Even though ants won’t be able to bite through tough wires, some species have strong enough jaws and teeth that can chew through the material that insulates the wires. When this happens, live wires are exposed and this will put your gadget at risk. There have also been serious infestations that have caused grave damage to public property, such as the invasion of the “crazy raspberry ants” in Houston in 2008. The minute buggers caused computers to malfunction, and they were also to blame for some short circuit problems at that time.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Electrical Devices
- Since ants are attracted to the heat produced by your electrical gadgets, you should turn these off when not in use.
- Avoid putting your laptops or PSPs near food or juice. Do not eat near your electronics as well. Also, make it a habit to wash your hands before using your computer especially after handling food or eating. These are good preventive measures.
- For small gadgets, like PSPs and notebooks, store these in Ziploc bags or other plastic containers that you can seal properly to make sure that ants won’t be able to get to them. This is especially helpful if you already have an ongoing ant infestation at home.
- Avoid using sprays because these might damage the internal components of your electronics.
- Place a bug-ridden item in a small plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly to suffocate the ants.
- For a severe infestation, ask pest control experts for help. Don’t ignore the problem because once ants invade your electronics, this often means that there is a more serious infestation going on in or around your home.
Claire Lassiter is a freelance writer who often blogs about different kinds of household pests. Her articles have been used by an ant control company in Des Moines and other pest control groups as well.
They say that the best way to get rid of rats is to use pesticides and chemicals to poison and kill them. These methods are not only very effective in getting rid of these pests, but they’re also very effective in controlling their population.
However effective these artificial methods may be though, we can’t deny that they also pose some risks. For one, the chemicals can be pretty harmful not only to the occupants and pets living in the house but also to the environment. Two, some pests do develop higher tolerance to these artificial pest control products, rendering them useless and ineffective in the end. Three, harsh chemicals can also damage furniture and things, causing stains and discoloration.
For this reason, you can try natural and organic methods of getting rid of rats first. They’re safer and also just as effective.
Keep Your Garbage Bins Closed
Ample food source is what attracts rats to a home in the first place. They are scavengers, and they will scavenge for food in garbage cans and bins. If you don’t practice the habit of always keeping your garbage cans closed, then it’s just like you’re inviting these rodents to your home. You’re giving them easy and free access to an ample supply of food, prompting them to stay and make their nests in your property.
To keep rodents away from your property, don’t give them easy access to free food supply. Keep those garbage cans closed, and make sure that the area remains clean and dry.
Keep Your Garden Clean
Rats also look for water source, so if you have standing water in your garden or dripping faucets, then you’re going to attract rats and other pests such as bees, ants, mosquitoes, etc. You can keep these pests away by filling the water puddles with soil. This will allow the water to drain out and, at the same time, prevent water from accumulating.
You also need to remove debris, piles of wood and dead leaves, or old tires from your garden. These serve as the perfect hiding places for rodents, and the longer these stay undisturbed, the better they’ll serve as shelters for these pests.
Keep Your Home Clean
It’s also very important that you keep your home clean. Remember, you don’t want to give rats any reason to invade your home, and a clean home is a good deterrent against rat infestation.
Always keep your kitchen clean and sanitized since this is the area where you store your food, prepare your meals, and eat the food you cooked. You don’t want rats contaminating your food and water.
Rooms that are rarely used, such as attics and basements, should also be kept clean and tidy. Undisturbed rooms mean more safe havens for these rodents. The same treatment should also be given to crawlspaces.
Adopt a Cat
Cats are natural predators of rats, and their presence could keep rodents away. However, if you’re allergic to cats, you can make use of products that simulate cat’s smell. You can spray them in places where you suspect rats live, and they’ll avoid it.
Use Natural Rat Repellents
You can also make use of natural rodent repellents such as herbs with strong scent and sprinkle them in rat holes. Good examples of these include mint, pepper, wood hyacinth, cayenne, among others.
Speaking of rat holes, you need to seal these holes up. Make sure that there are no entryways rats can use to enter your home.
If rat population becomes uncontrollable, get in touch with a pest control company.
Jennifer Daggett is a blogger who specializes in natural methods of getting rid of pests. Through these tips, she hopes to teach people learn more about organic and safe way of controlling pests.
The lack of sunshine and wet conditions that are more than common in Britain make gardens, drive ways and just about everywhere else you can imagine the perfect places for moss to grow.
A damp lawn or the water filled gaps between paving stones are an absolute haven for mosses but it’s probably not the look that you’re going for. There are a variety of techniques that you can use to get rid of moss including changing the conditions of the place where it’s growing and a variety of other control techniques that will prevent it from returning.
One thing to bear in mind before you start removing moss is the fact that you can actually use it to enhance your garden. Moss works really well in the bottom of hanging baskets as it helps to keep in the moisture; it is also much more attractive than the black lining that it otherwise used. If you want to use some of the moss for this purpose then you should rake it form your lawn before treating the area with moss killer or any other substance.
If you have a problem with moss on your lawn then you should cut the lawn and allow it to grow for a couple of days before using any treatment. Many moss killers will control much more than moss growth, preventing the growth of other pests like slime. Although the treatment will kill moss, slime and liverworts you can be sure that it won’t harm your garden at all. Once you’ve treated the moss you should leave your lawn for as long as possible before you cut it again as this will give the grass the chance to grow over the mossy patch.
You also need to remember that the moss won’t die straight away, you should leave it alone until it’s turned black and then rake it from your lawn. Once the mossy patch has been removed you should fork and turn the soils in that area to enable better drainage in order to prevent the chance of it coming back again.
Lawns and other grassy areas aren’t the only sufferers when it comes to moss though as it also makes itself at home on pathways and drive ways too. It’s generally much easier to remove moss from hard surfaces because you don’t have to worry about killing the surrounding area. Treatments that are intended for use on drive ways and paths usually contain bleaches which kills the moss right to the base and is a much better long term control.
Charlie Jacobs is a gardening expert and keeps his garden moss free with moss killer from gloves4less.co.uk.
One of the most dreaded pests around is the termite. Homeowners fear an infestation because termites can destroy homes or cause damage that’s expensive to repair. Just imagine how much it would cost to replace piers, beams or foundations. Then, there’s pest control to think about. Do you perform the treatment on your own? Do you hire pest control experts? Whichever method you choose, you will need to spend money on treatments. But such expenditures can be avoided if you employ preventive measures to reduce the chances of having a termite infestation.
Here are a few protective techniques that you can consider.
1. Get rid of places that termites will find conducive. In general, termites eat a lot of wood, and they prefer damp wood because it’s softer. Now that you know what these critters like, you should then check your property for areas where there are wet timber and damp or rotting lumber. Look at your yard. Do you see dead tree stumps that are beginning to decompose? Are there leaks or puddles close to wood walls or floors? Is your ceiling leaking? Water from a clogged gutter can cause fluids to back up and moisten ceilings and beams. Just remember that the formula that attracts termites is: wood + moisture. So, try to ensure that wood is protected from wetness.
2. Keep soil away from your main house. Termites travel through the soil. Because of this, they can easily get inside your house if some parts of your home are very near or touching the soil. The main issue that you have to always consider is to ensure that soil does not come in contact with wooden parts of your house. What you can do is to ensure that planters do not touch walls or are not placed on wooden floors. In case you have trellises, trim these regularly. Keep mulch a good two to three feet away from wood too. When watering plants, sprinkle water away and not towards your house.
3. There are also several things that you can do during the construction or pre-construction period in terms of prevention. Termite baiting, for one, is a good way to check if the land where you plan on building a house has termites or not. Use pre-treated wood as well or cover regular wood with chemicals that will make this more termite-resistant. To protect foundations and other parts that touch the ground, the surrounding soil can be chemically treated or wood can be wrapped in a special stainless steel wire mesh that deters the wood borers. There’s so much that you can do to prevent an infestation. Just ask your contractor about what your options are.
4. Be sure to avoid having things near your house that attract termites. Don’t keep firewood on your deck or patio. Termites can easily crawl onto and live in firewood; so it’s better to have this in a shed that’s a distance from the main residence. In case there are wood planks or chips lying around, clean these up. Termites feed on such things so you have to eliminate their food sources.
Claire Brent is a freelancer who specializes in pest issues. In her blogs, she discusses preventive measures to avoid infestations, management and control, and other pest-related concerns.