Just because we’re in the middle of winter doesn’t mean pests can’t be a problem. Here are a few quick pest control tips to get your Tri-State home through winter.
Mice: Mice can gain access through a hole the size of a dime, and they are amazing climbers. Soiled marks on walls, floors and around pipes (rub marks) can be a sign of active mice. When cleaning mice fecal material CDC recommends a 1 to 10 ratio of 1 part cleaning solution like bleach to 10 parts water. Spray the area to be cleaned, wait about a minute, and wipe it up. Wear protective gloves when doing this, and be sure to wash your hands afterwards.
Small ants: Small ants can be a year-round problem and they will nest in some of the most remote areas of your home. You should NEVER spray over-the-counter products on small ants. OTC sprays only make the problem worse. You can try an OTC bait, or better yet give us a call.
Fungus Gnats: Fungus gnats thrive in moist conditions that contain decaying organic material. A common source of fungus gnats are over watered planters. If you notice pesky “flies” around your plants consider watering less. The University of California has some great information about fungus gnats. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7448.html.
Indian Meal Moths (Pantry Pest): Indian meal moths will often be found in boxes of pasta, grains and oats. If you happen to check these boxes and you notice a strange web-like material, you probably have Indian Meal Moths. Throw that box away and be sure to check the other boxes. And yes, Indian Meal Moths can be in un-opened boxes. A non-pesticide solution to correcting an Indian Meal Moth problem would include inspecting old and new boxes of food, removing all items from the pantry, vacuuming the shelves (especially the seams), wiping the shelves down with a mild bleach solution (as mentioned above), and replacing the items. You may also choose to use a pheromone trap specifically for Indian Meal Moths.
Termites and carpenter ants: Both are very common, and both can be destructive. Ant movement is above the soil, therefor making them more noticeable. Termite movement is typically below the ground and their presence will often go undetected. Your only indication that you have termites might be a swarming that takes place, generally on a warm day after a rain event. If you happen to miss this event, termites will go another year undetected and causing damage.
Some additional pointers include:
- Keep your home clean and clutter free. Pests are attracted to dirty, cluttered spaces, so it’s important to keep your home clean and organized. Make a resolution to sweep and vacuum regularly and keep clutter to a minimum.
- Store food properly. No more wrapping goodies in foil and leaving them on the counter! Pests are attracted to food, so it’s important to store all food in airtight containers. This includes pet food, which can also attract pests if left out in the open.
- Keep trash cans covered. It only takes an extra second! Open trash cans are an invitation for pests, so make sure to keep your cans covered always.
- Use natural pest repellents. There are many natural pest repellents available that can help keep pests away from your home. These include essential oils like peppermint and citronella, as well as herbs like basil and rosemary.
- Seal up any cracks or openings in your home. Pests can enter through the tiniest of cracks, so it’s important to seal up any openings around windows, doors, and the foundation of your home. Use caulk or weatherstripping to fill in any gaps and keep pests out.
- Repair any leaks or plumbing issues. Pests are attracted to water, so fixing any leaks or plumbing issues can help prevent an infestation.
- Trim back trees and bushes. Overgrown trees and bushes can provide pests with a place to hide, so it’s a good idea to trim them back to reduce their hiding places. Branches touching the structure can also act as a conduit for pests to gain access to your home.
- Use mesh screens on windows and doors. Mesh screens can help keep pests out of your home, so make sure all windows and doors have screens in good repair.
If you have any questions about the pests mentioned, or any other pest, be sure to give us a call. We would be happy to address any of your concerns. Our office hours are M-F from 8 to 4 where we can be reached at 845-856-2024, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Too early to think about spring? We don’t think so! If you don’t currently have service with us and would like to learn more about our maintenance programs including our innovative In2Care Mosquito program, our yard tick and flea program, or our home protection program that will help protect your home from common household pests like ants, wasps, and spiders, be sure to contact us.