Archive for the ‘Prevention’ Category

Rats: Sewer Rat Prevention Tips

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

There are many things to do around your house to make sure that sewer rats do not infest it. Most of the prevention tips for keeping sewer rats away are the same as what you’d do for any type of rat or pest. These items should help prevent sewer rats from getting into your house, and ideally not attracting them to your house in the first place.

There are the instances that sewer rats may have already gotten into your house; if that’s the case there are some things you can do to get rid of the problem. One of the best methods to get rid of sewer rats is to call your local pest control service. Or you can set up traps; even sticky traps can be effective. One thing to keep in mind when setting up traps is that if the sewer rats have been in your house they are familiar with the environment because they memorize locations and pathways when they are searching for food and water. This causes a problem because if there is a new object in their path, like a trap, they are going to be more hesitant of it because they know it was not there before. Sewer rats are tricky, dirty rodents. Again it is best to call a local pest control service; you can even hire an organic pest control company if you are worried about using pesticides in your house. We hope that you don’t encounter these problems, but if you do, you’ll know what you’re in for; and these tips will help prevent you from having a sewer rat problem in the first place.

  • Check around your house for any openings, such as holes, cracks or crevices. Rats can get into a home in an opening as small as a quarter.
  • Look for burrows on your property. They are usually found under your house or anything that is placed on the ground like a shed, half barrel for plants, stacks of wood, or anything else that can be heavy and is sitting on the ground. Sewer rats like to dig their burrow underneath something stable, so try not to keep large items on the ground unless they’re on the concrete.
  • Also check your vegetation as sewer rats will dig burrows underneath things planted in the ground as well. Remember they can dig down three feet.
  • A popular spot is resting water; in the summer’s monsoon or storm season a lot of water is left on carports or on back porches. It is best to sweep the water into the gutter or into your grass, that way there are no puddles for rats to come drink from.
  • If you can, cover your pool as frequently as possible as sewer rats like to swim. It can be dangerous to have sewer rats in your pool even if you’re not using it because they can contaminate the water, putting you at risk to contract one of the diseases sewer rats carry.
  • Sewer rats like dog and cat food, if there are food bowls left outside for your animal there is a high possibility sewer rats will stop by. Your pet’s water bowls especially attract sewer rats.
  • All stacks of wood or clippings should be kept at a higher level and not on the ground.
  • Keep any containers that are outside closed with a tight lid, and on cement rather than the grass. Anything from a trash can to a plastic storage container. Especially a trash container otherwise it’s a rats paradise.
  • Make sure to clean trash cans, sheds and crawlspaces on a regular basis. Also make sure that these areas are always dry.
  • Pick up animal waste on a daily basis. Yes, as gross as it sounds that is another invitation for a rat to come feed.
  • Rats will eat anything so ensure to clean up thoroughly after parties on your patio.
  • Keep a clean and sanitized house and yard. Any presence of garbage will attract rats.

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.

Stink Bug – Box Elder Bug Prevention Tips

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Prevention for the box elder bug needs to be focused on during the fall or in the late summer. The fall is the peak time of the year when box elder bugs are trying to sneak their way into people’s homes. Occasionally people will see box elder bugs crawling around inside their homes already and panic. Trying to catch and kill them is tricky because you don’t want to crush them and let out that awful foul odor. Many people will spray them with a pesticide or a water and soap solution. This does not always work because it has to be sprayed directly on the box elder bug. The best thing to do if you find box elder bugs in you home is to call your local pest control service out to your house. If you don’t think you have a box elder bug problem these tips will help ensure that a box elder bug problem doesn’t occur in the future. Like prevention for many other pests the steps are easy. Here are some of the basic tips to homeowners to help prevent box elder bugs from getting inside your home.

  • 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 weather stripping. Also, make sure garage doors have a rubber bottom.
  • Seal any openings around pipes or cables.
  • Don’t leave piles of debris near the home, dispose of these properly.
  • Rake leaves and any seeds that have fallen, especially those from box elder trees.
  • Box elder bugs are attracted to light, so use yellow lights outdoors and at a minimum of use. Also make sure not to leave any windows open near your outside lights.
  • Vacuum the inside of your home frequently. If you find dead box elder bugs vacuum them dead or alive. Do not try to pick up, as there is a chance you can squish them. If that happens they could leave a stain, and will leave a foul odor.
  • If at all possible, remove any box elder trees, maple trees, or ash tress that are on your property. This is the most effective way to not have box elder bugs near your home.

Spider: Yellow Sac Spider Prevention Tips

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Preventing yellow sac spiders is just like preventing any other pest, the only difference is the damage they can cause. No one wants pests, more so yellow sac spiders, in their home. Nor does anyone want to take the risk of being bitten by a yellow sac spider. Follow these steps to help prevent yellow sac spiders from invading your home:

  • Keep all beds 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.
  • Before wearing any clothes that come out of your closet shake them out.
  • Keep closets, attics, basements, and other storage areas clean.
  • Vacuum regularly, don’t forget the undisturbed areas like behind furniture.
  • Keep clutter out of your house.
  • Place sticky traps behind furniture and other large objects that yellow sac spiders might hide behind, like appliances, credenzas, or armoires.
  • Make sure screens on doors, vents, etc. are installed correctly, and that there are no tears in them.
  • Seal any holes around pipes that go into the house, check basements and crawl spaces.
  • Install weather stripping on doors and windows.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in the homes foundation.
  • Remove leaf litter, vegetation and spider webs that are adjacent to the house. A powerful hose should do the trick for the webs, etc.
  • Store wood piles away from the home.
  • Wear gloves when outdoors either gardening or working with things like wood or rocks.
  • Cut trees and shrubs back so they do not touch the roof or walls of the house.
  • Switch outdoor lights to yellow. As the yellow lights do not attract as many insects, i.e. yellow sac spider food.
  • Keep the use of outdoor lights to a minimum.

Ant: Tips for Preventing Carpenter Ants

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Carpenter ants can be a huge frustration to a homeowner. It can be time consuming to try to find the main source of the carpenter ants, the colony. Also there can be multiple colonies, adding to the frustration. The best thing to do is have your local pest control service come out and examine your home. Many times if there is a colony inside there is a larger colony outside. Like many other pests problems homeowners face there are some basic prevention tips to help keep carpenter ants outside of your home. Here is a list of things homeowners can do to avoid a carpenter ant invasion.

  • 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 the homes foundation and elevate it off of the ground. Always keep outside in an open area, like the backyard.
  • Trim or clip any tree branches or vegetation touching the roof or siding of the house.
  • Remove logs, stumps, and waste wood near or 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.
  • Seal or caulk any cracks in foundation, openings in foundations, entry points on the house, and around electrical and water lines / pipes.
  • Check any crawl spaces, attics, and basements to make sure they are well-ventilated, and have no moist or damp areas.
  • Clean any clogged gutters to prevent water damage.

Cockroach: Preventing the Oriental Cockroach from Getting Inside Your Home

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Preventing oriental cockroaches can be very easy. It is mostly about maintaining a clean house and yard. Also of course, making sure there are no entry points from the outside into your home. Overall the oriental cockroach’s habitat needs to be modified. Here are the basic steps to help prevent oriental cockroaches from getting into your home.

  • Keep your home clean and dry.
  • Vacuum often, make sure to get the corners and in dark places like closets.
  • Fix any plumbing leaks you may have and keep moist spaces ventilated.
  • If there are any gaps near plumbing pipes, cables, or anything of that manner fill the gaps with steel wool or caulk.
  • Check around the foundation of the home and fill any openings, holes, or cracks that are visible. Pay special attention to the ground level. Also sometimes it is best to look at dusk when oriental cockroaches will start to come out to look for food.
  • 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 because oriental cockroaches will eat through the plastic.
  • Drain traps should be capped.
  • Install door sweeps, thresholds, and weatherproofing seals on doors, including garage doors.
  • Add screens to your attic vents, crawl spaces, floor drains, and any other exposed areas.
  • On your windows make sure to have screens and weatherproof them as well.
  • Outside of your home keep all trash cans, firewood, and lumber away from the house, at least three feet. You just don’t want it set up right next to the house.
  • If you have any mulch in your front or backyard keep it at or below two inches thick.
  • Mow any weedy vegetation near the structure of the home or any other structures on your property.
  • Keep basements and crawl spaces ventilated, and free of clutter.
  • Maintain keeping gutters clean, another source of moisture for oriental cockroaches to feed on.
  • Keep branches and bushes from touching your house.
  • Place sticky traps around, indoors and outdoors. Pesticides don’t always work because the oriental cockroaches may have already eaten, and can go for some time with out food. So trying to get them to eat poison is pointless.

Beetle: Preventing Carpet Beetles From Infesting Your Home

Monday, October 19th, 2009

There are many things that can be done to help prevent carpet beetles from invading your house. Unlike preventing other pests there is not as much to do outside of your home. The reason is that carpet beetles are more interested in what is inside your home. The first and foremost thing to do is always keep your house clean. Keeping a clean house may seem easy, but you need to make sure that the house is being thoroughly cleaned as well. Here are some things to do to help prevent carpet beetles from living in your home.

  • Vacuuming is very important, make sure to use the extension to get in the cracks and corners of your floors and walls.
  • After vacuuming make sure to throw out the bag in case any carpet beetles are inside it.
  • Remove lint, hair, dead insects, and other debris from your house as often as you can. Things like lint build-up in your laundry room, and keep your hair brush as clean as possible.
  • Regularly clean rugs, draperies, upholstered furniture, closets, and other locations where carpet beetles may be found thoroughly.
  • Call professional carpet cleaners out to your home.
  • Be extra cautious with furniture, mattresses, and pillows that are stuffed with animal hair or feathers. If necessary discard them as the carpet beetles could be inside and you won’t be able to kill them. Or with something small like a pillow, the item can be frozen in order to kill the carpet beetles.
  • Dry clean or wash clothes in hot water.
  • Do not leave piles of dirty clothes around your house. Keep in a hamper and do wash frequently.
  • Store furs in colder places, even a professional storage facility.
  • If you have any mounted or stuffed game, such as elk, duck, or deer, clean on a regular basis. If the game is small enough, or you have a large freezer, freeze every once in a while for a week to kill any carpet beetles. Remember carpet beetles will feed on bone, also horns or antlers.

Spiders: Wolf Spider Prevention Tips

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Wolf spiders are very scary looking and make most people want to cringe at the sight of one. Many times people do not see the wolf spider in their home; rather people find wolf spiders outside their homes. There are many things homeowners can do in order to prevent wolf spiders from coming near their home. Even though people don’t often see wolf spiders inside their homes that does not mean they never will. Wolf spiders will only go into a home for warmth or food, and this usually only occurs in the fall and winter seasons. There are also things a homeowner can do inside their home to help prevent wolf spiders from entering and wanting to stay. Here is a list of outdoor and indoor prevention tips:

  • Outside your house check for any openings or cracks, if you find any, fill the openings or cracks with outdoor sealant.
  • Walk the perimeter of your home and check the windows, vents, screens, doors, and thresholds for any openings or damages to them. Have any openings filled with weather stripping and any damage repaired.
  • Inside your house check every room, especially your basement and attic where it might be dark on a regular basis. Look for cracks, openings near windows or pipes, tears in screens, etc. Very similar to what you look for outside now you’re just looking on the inside. Fill or repair any openings or damage found.
  • 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. By having other insects and pests your yard is a food hunting groud for wolf spiders.
  • Keep any wood, trash, or debris piles away from the house. Also make sure to use proper storage and trash containers.
  • Outdoor lighting can attract wolf spiders and other pests, it is best to use yellow or sodium vapor lights outside.
  • Keep your house tidy. And keep items in proper storage containers, and do not let trash, dishes, laundry etc. pile up in your home. This will also keep other insects away.
  • Keep porches, crawl spaces, basements and attics dry.
  • Use sticky traps in your home as a way to catch wolf spiders, or any pest for that matter.
  • Use do-it-yourself pest control products either outside or inside a home to help prevent wolf spiders, and their food supply.
  • If so desired call, your local pest control company to come spray your home on a regular basis. This will also take care of other pests on your property and if there is no food for a wolf spider then they should not be coming around anymore.

Rats: Tips for Preventing Pack Rats

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Pack rats may be small in size, but they can get into even smaller spaces. A hole the size of a quarter can be an entry way for these rodents. It is important to check for any openings outside of your home. Not only should holes in the structure of a home be checked, but also screens that cover windows and doors, vent coverings, and door panels. Here are some more tips to prevent pack rats from getting into your home.

  • A great way to prevent pack rats in your plants it to put the planters on a rack so they are not resting on the ground.
  • A favorite of rats is dog or cat food, if there are food bowls left outside for your animal there is a high possibility rats will stop by, they might even use the pet food to help make their nests.
  • Trimming all trees is important. Make sure they are not touching power lines or anything else. Rats will use cables or power lines to get into the top of the tree. Also make sure no branches are too low as that will be a way to crawl up the tree.
  • With bushes it is best to keep them pruned regularly, and having the bottom not touch the floor is helpful.
  • With all shrubbery, bushes, and trees it is safest to have them free-standing.
  • All stacks of wood or clippings should be kept at a higher level and not on the ground.
  • If you have desert landscape, maintain your cacti. It might be best to have a professional gardener as cactus can be dangerous to work with.
  • Either for yourself or your gardener it is important to remove dead parts of a cactus, making sure the paddles are not turned over therefore providing shade for rats on the ground.
  • Keep any outside containers closed with a tight lid, including a trash can to a plastic storage container. This goes for both inside and outside of your home.
  • When trimming bigger plants, like oleanders or bougainvilleas, make sure they are thinned out enough where you can see the sunlight through them. The thicker they are, the more appealing they are to rats.
  • Rats will eat anything so make sure to clean up thoroughly after parties on your patio.
  • If your car is outside protect it by having a porch light on, an extra tip is to use yellow insect repellent lights to help keep the rats and other insects away.
  • Pick up fruit that has fallen from trees on a daily basis. If they can’t get in your tree that the next best thing to a free meal.
  • Pick up animal waste on a daily basis. Yes, as gross as it sounds that is another invitation for a rat to come feed.

Ticks – Tips to Help Prevent

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Ticks can be hard to prevent. There are many opportunities for a tick to latch onto a person; therefore, it is hard for people to prepare for tick attacks. Many times ticks get inside a home by latching on to a person or animal while they are outside. Once inside the home ticks will hide in crevices, in corners and in places that are elevated. To help keep them away, thoroughly vacuum your home even taking the vacuum extension to the walls and ceiling lines. Also keeping any pet beds or play things clean, and always check them for ticks. Overall if a tick does get inside it can not survive indoors, so it will not stay for too long. Therefore preventing ticks outdoors can be more crucial for a home owner.

Household pets, like dogs and cats, are often carriers of ticks. Ticks are usually attracted to dogs more than cats. It is crucial to check your pets thoroughly for ticks on a regular basis. Pets can also be taken to their veterinarian for medicine to help prevent ticks. Tick collars are also a popular choice to keep ticks off of dogs. Pets that are often outside are more likely to become victims to ticks, especially if they have a resting area that is outside. It is also important to check for ticks in the areas your pet might frequent; for instance near their water and food supply, a dog house, and or a play area.

Often time’s ticks attach to a dog while it is in the grass. Keeping your back yard kept up is also important in tick prevention. Having the lawn kept short, the shrubs trimmed, and bushes maintained are things that can be done with in the back or front yard of a house to help prevent ticks. A homeowner can even set up their landscaping in a particular manner to prevent ticks. Do this by keeping the greenery in one section, then putting a buffer, like gravel, between the other areas. Also if you have a play area or a patio area, then keep the greenery further away as ticks are more likely to be on the vegetation. Another tip for landscaping, if your home is near the woods, put a buffer of gravel or wood chips between your yard and the woods. There are also do-it-yourself prevention pest control sprays and dusts that can be used. Although it might be best to have your local pest control company come out to ensure it is done correctly, especially if you have pets. Any time you are outside doing yard work or just hanging out wear tick repellent that contains DEET in it. The best kinds have over 20% of DEET in them. If you do not like chemicals you can always just protect your skin with long sleeves and pants.

The repellent, long sleeves and pants are also good methods to use when out in the wilderness. While camping or hiking you always want to protect yourself, also wear light colored clothing so you can see ticks more easily. Some people even tuck their pants into their socks to be extra careful that ticks can not get to them. While in the wilderness stay away from touching trees and vegetation, and be careful around moist areas and water as all of these are popular places for ticks to attach onto people. No matter what always check your body for any ticks.