Archive for June, 2010

Organic Pest Control: What Makes It Organic?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Organic pest control is a great choice when looking for pest control services. Most pest control companies offer an organic or green solution to your pest problems – you just have to ask.

organic pest control

Make sure to ask pest control companies if they are IPM accredited.

In the pest control industry Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has been around for quite some time. IPM is a green version of pest control where there is a responsibility to the environment by conserving resources, protecting the environment and protecting people’s health. If the pest control company you decide to use says they have green products check that they use IPM as well, and if they have any other accreditation’s or something certifying their products are organic. The hard part with finding a green pest control company is that there are no regulations in using the term green pest control.

With using organic pest control it is similar to organic food. It has to be labeled and certified, so it would be somewhat more easy to verify if a pest control company is using “green” products or not. This also can be used if you are buying a product for do-it-yourself pest control.

Many times the organic product is a natural combination of things. Thankfully Mother Nature created many great things that can keep the bugs away. Some of the more well known natural materials are pyrethrum (chrysanthemum flowers), borates (heavy duty salt), and diatomaceous earth (fossilized seashell particulates). These natural pesticides have been effective in preventing many different pests like termites, carpenter ants, cockroaches, beetles, fleas, and other small insects.

organic pest control

Here is a picture of a successful beer trap.

Some organic pest products are meant for certain types of pests. When you need aphids, white flies, or mites killed use rotenone organic pesticide. For killing millipedes, slugs, earwigs, ants, or cockroaches use diatomaceous earth insect killer. For killing snails and slugs use a beer trap, fill up a cup half way with beer and place it near where snails and slugs are found and the beer will kill them. If you need to get rid of aphids, spiders, or caterpillars use a garlic guard. For general pest prevention, neem insecticidal spray is helpful, and can also be used on household plants, flowers, vegetables, and herbs.

One of the most important things in making sure that the job gets done well is that you have a trained pest control technician. Again, that is why researching the company you hire is important. Whether you decide to use regular or green pest control, if you do not have a technician who knows what they are doing you won’t get the results you want.

The best thing about choosing to use organic and or green pest control methods is that since they are natural they are still able to kill pests, but they don’t harm people. There have been some incidents of chemical based pest products causing health problems, so by using natural products there is less of a health risk for people.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Organic Pest Control Has Been Around for a Long Time

Friday, June 4th, 2010

If you walk into just about any store today you will most likely find either a section of green or organic products. You may even be in a store filled entirely with green and organic products. Everywhere we go we see ads for green and organic food, clothing, cleaning supplies and more. Since organic products have become the new everyday product, it is not surprising that organic products are being developed into other markets as well, like pest control. It’s not just fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, clothing, and cleaning products anymore that are available in an organic version. Many pest control companies offer many solutions to solving your pest problems using green and or organic materials. In fact pest control companies have been using greener methods for quite some time; it’s just that many people were unaware of it.

organic pest control

Making a good decision for your home would include never having to put a sign like this in your yard.

Now that people are so eco-savvy it isn’t surprising that they are realizing that the need for using traditional chemical pesticides are not necessary. Considering the fact that pesticides can be harmful to your health, your home, our environment and even your pet’s health, using a green pest control product is a very good choice. Also now more than ever before, people want to be making good decisions about their homes and what they put in and around them.

Another great thing about being more eco-conscious when applying pest control prevention to your home is that many of the things do not need any type of pesticide. One of the best ways to keep your home pest free is to ensure there are no openings for pests to get into your home through. These are classic prevention tips like filling any holes, filling any cracks, filling any crevices, sealing vents with screens, making sure screens don’t have any damage, and checking around your doors and windows for gaps. The scary thing is that an opening the size of a pencil in diameter is an entry point for a mouse, even though it seems impossible an averaged sized mouse can get into a home through a hole that small. Just imagine what can get into your house if there is a larger opening. Going around your home and checking the exterior is the best thing a homeowner can do. Some even say that a door sweep is one of the best products you can use to prevent pest problems.

organic pest control

Make sure to ask pest control companies if they are IPM accredited.

As mentioned before many pest control companies have been using greener methods for years now. There is a method in the industry known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which focuses on prevention methods that reduce toxicity of their products. By using this method many pest control agents are able to target the application of organic pesticides to ensure that it does not harm people and only kills the pests. Another thing that is actually beneficial is when they use a method where the pest takes the bait back to the nest, hive, or mound and is able to kill the colony rather than spraying lots of areas where pest do not go (even if they do go there they will die quickly and it won’t be an effective method to getting rid of the entire problem). The truth is, heavy chemical pesticides are not useful in solving pest problems, and nobody wants their home and yard drenched in chemical pesticides.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org

Pest Control: Some Basic Prevention Methods

Friday, June 4th, 2010

There are many do it yourself prevention methods available to prevent pests from getting inside your home. The nice thing about these tactics is that they typically free, other than buying some supplies, and most are regular chores and home maintenance things that we should do on a regular basis anyway. Some examples include raking leaves – you just need to make sure you properly dispose of them. Another example is trimming tree branches, just make sure to trim them short enough that they don’t reach any power lines or your house.

Another great thing about utilizing these prevention methods is that they are also pesticide free; which makes them a form of green prevention methods. If you need a pest solution right away it would be best to call a professional pest control company out to your home. Afterward you can use these methods to prevent pests from coming back. Or if you haven’t had a bad infestation yet use these steps to ensure your home stays pests free. Here are the basic steps to help prevent pests from getting into your home:

  • Keep grass, shrubs, and weeds trimmed, you do not want them getting too tall.
  • Keep trash, wood piles, plywood, storage, debris and general junk away from the house (not against the exterior walls). Keep trash in a proper sealed trash can.
  • Go over the exterior of the home and look for any cracks or crevices, as those are the most popular entry points. Seal any if found.
  • Check all screens on doors, windows, and vents to make sure there are no tears. Repair or replace any that are damaged.
  • Seal any openings around windows.
  • Make sure all doors have thresholds and or weather stripping. Also that garage doors have a rubber bottom.
  • Seal any openings around pipes or cables.
  • Eliminate any moisture sources. Correct roof leaks, plumbing leaks, and any other moisture problems.
  • Replace any damaged wood.
  • Get rid of anything that is wood to ground contact. If necessary elevate the wood with concrete pier blocks.
  • Stack firewood away from your home’s foundation and elevate it off of the ground. Always keep firewood outside in an open area such as the backyard.
  • Trim or clip any tree branches or vegetation touching the roof or siding of the house.
  • Remove logs, stumps, and waste wood from under your home.
  • Add a gravel or stone strip around your house.
  • Make sure all window and door frames do not contact the soil of your yard.
  • Check any crawl spaces, attics, and basements to make sure they are well ventilated, and have no moist or damp areas and are free of clutter.
  • Clean any clogged gutters to prevent water damage.
  • Vacuuming is very important, make sure to use the extension to get in the cracks and corners of your floors and walls.
  • Keep your home clean and dry.
  • Decaying leaves and organic matter should be removed from windows and doors.
  • Keep garbage cans outdoors, but away from moist areas.
  • Do not leave trash bags that are filled lying around, put them in a proper trash can.
  • Drain traps should be capped.
  • Add screens to your attic vents, crawl spaces, floor drains, and any other exposed areas.
  • If you have any mulch in your front or back yard keep in at or below two inches thick.
  • A simple thing to do outside your home is remove any vegetation that is growing on the outer walls of your home. Things like ivy and bougainvillea are pretty to look at, but attract many insects and pests.
  • Outdoor lighting can attract spiders and other pests, it is best to use yellow or sodium vapor lights outdoors.
  • Keep your house tidy. Keep items in proper storage containers, and do not let trash, dishes, laundry etc. pile up within your home. This will also keep other insects away.
  • Move all beds away from touching the wall.
  • If you have a bed skirt either move it so that it doesn’t touch the floor or just completely remove it.

Pest Control Problems During the Summer

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Summer is a time of the year when many people want to avoid the heat. We are able to do this by staying in our air conditioned homes. Pests also want to avoid the heat, but unfortunately they do so by getting into our air conditioned homes. Summer is one of the worst seasons for pest problems. Not only are pests trying to get into people’s homes, but there are more pests than usual. Now that spring has passed the entire population of baby pests are now adults and looking for shelter. Another way people avoid the heat in the summer is to get into a refreshing pool of water, whether in a below ground or above ground pool. The problem that can come with being in the pool is that there is a lot of maintenance to do to keep a pool clean in order to swim and relax in it. If pools are not kept clean they can become sources for pests to come and drink water, or worse yet, mosquitoes can breed.

pest control problems during the summer

This is a very refreshing looking pool. It obviously is maintained very well. Anyone could spend their whole summer soaking the sun up in this pool.

pest control problems during summer

Here is a pool that no one would want to swim in, except for maybe mosquitoes. This pool obviously has not been maintained at all.

Also during the summer many pests lose their food supply because the vegetation dies. Therefore pests try to get into homes in search of food. In some instances pests actually get a growth in their food supply. For spiders they feed on small insects, and the small insects are all migrating toward the homes in search of shelter and food so the spiders will also migrate towards homes in search of food. This exact reason is why doing year round preventative maintenance is beneficial, to always keep pests away so they don’t attract other pests.

Some of the pests that you will definitely notice an increase in are the flying insects and stinging insects. Most of the stinging insects stay outside, but are still harmful to the property of your home and your family, when outdoors. Even though many people like to stay inside with the air conditioning many people spend their summer time in the pool, sprinklers, or Slip and Slides. While outdoors it is very important to be aware of your surroundings so that you do not disturb any bees, hornets, or wasps.

pest control problems during summer

Here are some bees that have found a can of tea. Be careful with drinks outside because a bee could land on one while you are not looking, and if you reach for the can you may get stung.

pest control problems during summer

Whenever you have food outdoors be extra cautious and keep everything covered. Otherwise your food will be invested with ants, like in this photo.

Another outdoor activity that many people do during the summer, depending on how hot it is, is to picnic or barbecue. Again while outdoors be aware of the insects that fly by you, and that there are no nests near by. Eating outdoors can also attract other pests as they are in search of food. So while eating outdoors keep everything covered, or serve the food indoors then bring it outside. Also be careful of your drinks as pests need water to survive – they like sugary liquids.

pest control problems during summer

If you are eating a drinking outdoors always pick up your trash. Anything left behind can attract ants, bees, or other pests.

pest control problems during summer

Having pests attack food left behind can be a major problem. Especially if the food is dropped on your property. This is an open invitation for other pests no matter where the food is dropped at.

Water is a huge problem with pests in the summer. Since their water supply is usually cut short they have to search for it. Plus mosquitoes breed in water, so it might be good to drain ponds, drain bird baths and remove any sources of standing water. Of course you don’t want to drain your pool, but hopefully the chlorine will keep the pests at bay. This is also important because you do not want mosquitoes breeding as they spread diseases like many of the other pests. Moisture can happen inside your home too; so, make sure to open your foundation vents so that your home can breathe a little. Another helpful thing to do is make sure that your clothes dryer vent does not go into a crawl space; this can cause moisture that pests will seek out within your home.

The best thing to do to avoid pest problems in the summer is to maintain your home so pests can’t get inside. Check out our list of prevention tips to do year round so that pests can’t get into your house. Also just be aware of your surroundings while outside as many pests will still be outside. Here is a list of the most popular summer pests by state:

If you do not see the state you reside in on this list please check back as more states are still being added to our database. Also the database is still adding more and more pests, so if you have a problem with a pest and don’t see it listed in the database please continue to visit www.localpestcontrolservices.com as pests are continually being added.

Pictures courtesy of www.creativecommons.org