Everything you need to know about pests
Wherever you look today, both off and online, you are sure to find many DIY pest control and mouse removal options. With the economy being what it is and household expenses rising every single day, it is absolutely understandable for homeowners to seriously think about doing their own pest control and extermination.
So why wouldn't you take this on yourself? Why do you need to spend money that you may not have to hire a professional mouse removal and pest control company?
Pesticides are poisonous
Although this is not the ultimate reason why you should avoid taking on pest control as a Do-It-Yourself enthusiast, it is a very good reason to, at the very least, think twice before doing so. Most pesticides are poisonous. Maybe not as poisonous as arsenic, but dangerous enough to cause severe health hazards when mishandled. Instead, here are some home remedies that could help you deal with the issue, at least until you can get a professional to get rid of that mouse infestation problem.
That sweet fresh scent of peppermint might smell great to us, but it doesn't really work that well for mice. They hate it. (Some repellent trash bags now available are scented with peppermint). Try placing some peppermint oil on cotton balls and then place them in suspected entry points, kitchen cabinets and entryways. This will have mice scampering away from your home. You can also plant mint along your home's exterior to keep them off completely. That’s effective, pretty, and useful, too (since you can always drop a mint leaf on your chocolate cake as a garnish…just be careful where you throw the cake if you don’t finish it, since mice love cake as much as we do.)
Used Kitty Litter (!)
This is a good one! Cats and mice are natural enemies. Naturally, mice do not want to share the same space with cats, so whenever they suspect that a cat might be living in the same location, they will head in the other direction. Farmers suggest that you should place some used kitty litter near suspected entry points. As soon as the mice smell the cat urine, they will head for the hills, literally.
You have probably picked it up by now that doing something about suspected entry points is a big plus when trying to keep mice from your home. In many cases, you can try filling up holes and cracks that act as entryways to mice using different materials. Steel wool is the most practical because mice do not like it. Since they cannot chew through the material (it hurts their teeth) they will either try to find a new entry point or they will simply move on. And if they do chew it, it will not be kind to their insides…
These are just three simple home remedies that you can use when trying to deal with a mouse infestation. However, if you find that none of this is working, or your problem is very bad, then you should call a professional exterminator who will get the job done right on the very first try. They have experience and access to the tools of the trade that you don’t.
Bats have been a subject of folklore since antiquity and have always been painted in a negative vein. Although they are an important part of our eco-system, their negative image has been compounded by the fact that they are highly susceptible, like rats, to diseases like rabies. People always imagine bats to reside in dark caves of mystery and never as household pests. But, as cities destroy their natural habitats in the name of expansion, bats have slowly become exactly that - common pests as prevalent as raccoons. As with any other pest, you have to deal promptly with bat infestation in your house. Read on to find out more about the bat removal process.
While it is easy to mistake any bird or a squirrel for a bat, there are numerous ways in which you can identify an infestation of bats without encountering them in person.
Crawling, squeaking and scratching sounds coming from your attic (or your belfry, for that matter) especially during dusk or dawn, can indicate the presence of bats. And, to a practiced ear, a bat's wing flapping sounds different from birds. In fact, in general, birds don't fly at night in residential areas, so if you hear a bunch of flapping wings at 11PM there is a very good chance you have just seen a bat.
Bat droppings are called “guano”. While they are similar to rodent droppings, there are minute differences that are visible to a practiced eye. They usually collect in piles just below the exit of the roosts of bats.
White streaks on window panes and walls are an indication of bat urine. Inspecting entry holes in the ceilings or walls for the collection of grease and dirt from the bat’s coat also gives a clear sign of the presence of bats. Strong odors rising out of the guano and urine usually point to an infestation.
After the bat infestation is confirmed, removal needs to happen. Infestations in different portions of your house require different approaches and treatments which only trained experts will be able to investigate and perform. Removing bat colonies from your attic (or your belfry) is a complicated process. Since it is not advisable to kill the bats due to the associated health risk, using exclusion devices is the most popular and the safest option. Since bats play a vital role in the ecosystem, bat exclusion is considered to be the most effective removal method. The removal process takes time as often it could become a waiting game to ensure that no babies or stragglers are left behind.
Due to obvious health reasons and the cost involved in the bat removal process, it is best for you to prevent bat infestations in your homes before they can occur. Many options like sonic alarms, lights, and other deterrents have been tried over the years to prevent infestation. But all these have failed… leaving you with the sole option of denying the bat entry into your house. This can be accomplished by identifying all the entry points into your house and sealing them permanently.
If you suspect that there is bat infestation in your home, bat removal is the only option left for you. Depending on your appetite for risk, you can always try to handle the removal on your own. Without experience, the risks of exposing yourself to dangerous diseases like rabies and fungal infections are higher.
So, it is always recommended to contact a professional pest control company and leave the next steps to them. They will ensure that your home is bat free and you are stress-free.
Termites are little creatures that conjointly eat naturally-occurring materials that are high in cellulose like plants and woods. The subterranean and drywood termites are the ones accountable for the devastation of most home components and wooden structures. Among the latest and efficient termite treatments, we've got liquid termiticide, baiting systems, and whole house fumigation procedures.
The liquid termiticide could either be a repellent or non-repellent treatment, repellent functions as a chemical barrier that blocks the entry of termites into the house while the non-repellent gets rid of termites by moving them into treated ground. The non-repellent termiticides are considered to be a highly effective way to remove termites as it leads to the transfer of termiticides from the treated area to a different location wherever the affected termites come in contact with their nest, thereby giving immediate and long lasting results.
Experts administer termiticide by digging the base of a house to about six inches wide and six inches deep, they then place the liquid termiticide in the pit (generally 12 gallons for each 30 feet of trench). This strategy is efficient because subterranean termites come from underground, so the problem is solved if you treat the ground surrounding your house. Termite detection radar technology (termatrac) can also be used to precisely verify the presence of termites without any physical penetration of walls or floors. Termatrac spots the exact termite location without interrupting the termite’s activity - thereby increasing the accuracy of the termiticide treatment.
A baiting system is another efficient way of exterminating termites which serve to eliminate the whole termite colony. Professionals position insect tracking devices tactically on commonly attacked places and examine them regularly so as to recognize the presence of termites. Following the discovery, baits are placed in these locations. Inside the baits are deadly materials, papers and “tasty” meals that can attract the hunting termites. The termites will eat some of the bait, and take the rest to the nest. Some bait formulas create a slow effect ensuring a gradual decline in termite population while others can reduce a whole colony.
House fumigation is often an effective way to treat the entire house, usually when many termite nests are spotted in one house. It helps to reach every crack and crevice in which termites may be living. In this method, experts will cover the infected house with a large tent and then pump in a gas that will destroy the termites. Depending on your circumstances and severity of the infestation, your termite exterminator can help you decide if this is the most appropriate choice for you.
Termite spray is yet another termite treatment that is spread around the outside perimeter of the base of a house only and does not dip into timber or the subterranean termite nests. Termidor is by far the most popular of the termite sprays.
Natural treatments include the use of orange oil and Borax. Orange oil is produced from citrus fruits while borax treatment is made by converting an organic ingredient into a chemical. Orange oil is used for a small nest of drywood termites only and is applied by injecting it directly into the areas attacked by drywood termites for immediate destruction. Boric acid is best used before the house structure is built in the first place; it is painted onto the timber, making the timber itself an obstruction for termites.
Most people resolve to contact a professional termite exterminator to deploy termite treatments since it is generally a task that requires specialized experience and materials. It is important to discuss with the pest controller the type of termite treatments that will be required to make termite infestation in your home a thing of the past.
Raccoons and rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels are infamous for finding their ways into areas that are dark and woody. Prevention is an excellent way to avoid an infestation. Routine practices that can free homeowners from these pests include cleanliness, use of rodent proof, ensuring hole free home, securing trash cans with lids, and proper management of garbage odor. Raccoons, like rodents not only love dirty attics but also have a strong sense of smell and so anything contrary to these above practices will promote rodents and raccoons infestation.
On the occasion where you have an infestation of rodents and raccoons in your home; it is vital you take steps to combat the attack before it becomes more intense. Raccoons and other animals that have allowed themselves to get this close to humans are very dangerous, and there is a good chance they are infected with rabies.
The few most popular methods to make them go away are:
Traps are used for squirrel, mice, and rat extermination. It should be a sturdy steel cage that will close when triggered by the weight of the rodent. Peanut butter serves well as bait. Traps can be available as snap, adhesive, and live capture. The adhesive trap works like fly strips; rodents stick to the board and die from lack of food and water. Live capture traps allow a pest control professional to remove and relocate squirrels without harm.
The best and cheapest way to eliminate raccoons from your household is to set traps. Request a "have a heart" trap from your local animal control agency. These traps are created using mesh wire and metal framework and are built to lure and snare a raccoon in without hurting it. You need to get in touch with the animal control agency to have the raccoon eliminated from your home securely as most states have rules against raccoon elimination that prevent households from dispersing them elsewhere without license.
Poison pellets are distributed around the places where rodents are usually vulnerable to and frequently travel. The rodents believe these pellets are meals: once they eat them they die. Although this technique shows efficiency, one can face serious problems in a household where kids and pets live as it may be difficult to locate the deceased and corroded rodents, and one can also encounter the problem of rotting and deceased rodents as it comes with an offensive smell.
Pets like cats and dogs have been confirmed to be great predators, but this is not much a recommended practice these days because it is impractical if the homeowner is not aware of the percentage of the rodents killed. However, if the squirrel and other rodents believe there is a predator nearby, they will avoid the area for fear of being eaten.
Repellent acts as a predator marking their territory. Different repellents that may help homeowners get rid of rodents like squirrels including Squirrel Away and Squirrel B Gone. There is a new innovative electrical repelling device that creates low-frequency sounds targeted at the rodent's hearing which causes extreme discomfort and leads to abandonment of the affected surroundings. This product has its own limitations as it has the tendency to lose its efficacy as the volume decreases due to distance from the the unit.
Removing raccoons and large rodents is a risky task that should only be carried out by an experienced exterminator. Contact a professional pest control company as they are experts at eliminating pests AND they have the proper equipment and knowledge it takes to carry out their services professionally and effectively. Following rodent and raccoon extermination, be sure to locate and seal all open areas in the house to keep the infestation from reoccurring. A good pest control professional should assist with this, as well.
Carpenter ant infestation in a house is an indication that such house is under a severe moisture condition, they are usually found around the laundry areas and washrooms, particularly in places that have leaks. Carpenter ants drill down into the wood and sculpt it away from within creating a hollow space, and they also cut galleries into the wood to form their nests and provide passageways within their nests. Since ants generally feed on dry leaves and other bugs, it is possible for them to create their nest around plants and woodpiles that are some feet away from the house. However, they can migrate inside your house if the condition of the house favors their survivability.
The first sign that you have a carpenter ant infestation is usually the presence of worker ants and sawdust in the house. In controlling carpenter ant infestation, it is necessary for you to carry out a general inspection to find the nest which holds the queen, and any other nests in your home because the ants that crawl around the house are usually less than 10% of the entire ant colony! The nests are located in the hollow area of a house such as the window sills and doors or baseboards. The easiest way to locate them is by placing sugar on the floor and trailing the ants to their nest.
Finding the the nest and eliminating the queen will prevent the ant population from growing further. Carpenter ants are removed by applying chemical insecticide in the forms of liquid concentrates, baits, and dust. Dust is applied using a bulb duster to pump the powder from the outside into the nest. A spray insecticide kills carpenter ants but could end up making the situation worse, if not applied correctly, by spreading them to the areas where they have not been before. Since carpenter ants love sweet and protein foods, you can use baits which are protein-based or contain honeydew. The honeydew will attract the worker ants that will take the food to the queen in their nest and this will eventually kill the rest of the colony. Bait is an ant killer that works effectively when much of it is placed at the entrances of ant nests and satellite colonies. Liquid insecticide can exterminate ants in a wall nest if you carefully drill a series of small (1/8-inch) holes and dust the area with the insecticide. You can also use aerosols like alpine aerosol to exterminate ants from cracks and crevices. Both liquid insecticide and aerosol provide a long-term residual effect.
Ants can be removed from their nest using a vacuum cleaner. Be sure to discard the vacuum bag after use to prevent the ants from escaping back into the house. Carpenter ants can be effectively controlled by using a chemical insecticidal barrier that interferes with the nest and possible food sources. You can as well block the worker ants by doing perimeter treatment with a non-repellent residual insecticide.
Carpenter ant infestation can be prevented by:
It is advisable to seek professional help in combating carpenter ant infestations, as incorrect procedures may allow the colony to rebound when surviving members resume their burrowing and foraging.
Gnats are nuisance pests that lay eggs, spread diseases, and die. They are of different species and require moisture in order to lay their eggs, so it is vital for you to minimize the moisture that creates a hospitable nursery for them. Overwatered patches of grass and leaking pipes underneath the house both create ideal breeding environments for gnats to lay eggs. The effects of these elements seem to, commonly, converge in the basement areas of many homes.
If you found a gnat breeding ground in your basement, it should be washed with a disinfectant solution comprised of approximately 10% Clorox and 90% water. You may also sprinkle some borax over the affected area and common areas of sanitary concern such as garbage cans. It would be wise to supplement the cleanliness of your home interior and exterior areas, such as the gutters, and ensure your garbage can is always clean and sealed with tight fitting lids. Should you observe heavy gnat activity in these problem areas, you should concentrate your efforts on removal of the species.
A very practical way to remove gnats from the affected area is to make use of a trap. Gnats, commonly known as fruit flies, have garnered quite the reputation as a nuisance, giving way to countess trap and removal options. One such item comes from a reputable company, TERRO, and is aptly named a “TERRO Fruit Fly Trap.” Traps can also be made from cedar and wine, with the addition of dish soap, to help reduce the surface tension of the solution. The reduced surface tension will not allow the gnats to gain a foothold on the mixture, causing them, instead, to plunge straight through and drown.
UV Bug Zappers effectively free a problem area of all species of the gnat. As it stands, with UV Bug Zappers, all you likely need to do is plug it in and turn it on. As the bugs are then attracted to the UV light and directly to the light’s scalding surface to meet their end, this may be the most practical way to combat the presence of gnats.
Another very useful option is a spray or mist where the general purpose is to coat the problem area in an anti-gnat solution to disperse them for extended periods. Citronella oil is a common element in anti-animal sprays that also works very well with gnats. You can spray it around your home, near your plants or near garbage cans. Diluted rubbing alcohol can also be a very powerful agent in the fight against gnats as gnats tend to die rather quickly following contact with the alcoholic solution.
Other options include repellents such as “Deet,” which some deem to be very effective. The issue with these repellents, however, is that they pose a significant threat to all living things in the immediate area as prolonged exposure to these substances can be poisonous. Physical barriers between gnats and the problem area can be quite useful, except that it can be terribly difficult to erect them with the capacity to deter an adversary so small. Of the many existing options, do what you can to assess your unique situation and choose the item or items best suited for the job.
Though we understand gnats as a common and casual pestilence, we need not accept them as such. Though they may be difficult to remove, we should be confident that it is not impossible. As long as you remain well informed of the gnats’ congregation points and the tools at your disposal, gnat removal from a basement area can be a simple and gratifying experience.
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