June is finally here, and it’s hard not to be excited for the sunshine and warm weather. One thing that isn’t quite so exciting, though, is the fact that high temperatures, in many houses, means that it’s time the bed bugs start biting. Specialists say that these intrusive critters tend to hibernate all winter long, but during the summer season, they get dehydrated and thirsty, causing them to come out and look for sustenance.
Unfortunately, they can turn up seemingly overnight – they breed quickly, and many sufferers go to bed perfectly healthy only to wake up to find that they’ve become a buffet for bugs! Your bed should be the place you go for comfort and warmth, not a place that causes you to wake up itchy and irritated.
You can always call an exterminator to get rid of bed bugs for you, but unfortunately, that’s the most expensive means of treating them. Luckily, there are a number of DIY products on the market – once you know how to kill bed bugs on your own, you’ll be free of worry.
Suspended concentrates like Suspend SC, Aerosols like Talstar, Microencapsulated treatments like Onslaught, and more – there are so many insecticide options that knock down and drag out these creatures as quickly as they came. These are great if bed bugs are already an issue as well as for preventative use. Most can be used indoors and outdoors.
There are special steam cleaners available made for the sole purpose of getting rid of bed bugs. It might be the option that make you feel the most safe if you want to directly treat your bed or couch, and they’re extremely effective!
Preventative Methods for Travel
If you’re going on a trip and staying in a hotel, you might fear bringing the bad boys home with you. That’s why luggage sprays and mattress covers are available – to help you feel safe even when you’re not in your own home. If you’re sleeping in a foreign bed, it’s never a bad idea to use these.
Bed Bug Kits
There are kits available with everything you need to rid your home of bed bugs and provide residual, sustained control. Many people fear that they might not thoroughly treat the problems and the bed bugs will come back – and this is a legitimate concern. Any product that offers residual control is great for your peace of mind.
They’re not the worst thing in the world, but they’re most certainly something you can’t live with. Don’t let bed bugs take over your home – just determine which powerful product is best for your situation and take them on yourself!
Every year, termites – yes, those small, harmless-looking insects – cause $5 billion in property damage. It’s not exactly the mental imagery homeowners wish to conjure up when thinking thoughts about spring and summer; surely they’d rather envision their blooming gardens and lush lawns. Unfortunately, these pesky creatures are a homeowner’s worst nightmare, and they don’t discriminate.
Many homeowners don’t even know they have termite issues until it’s too late. Some of the tell-tale signs of their presence include swarms and shed wings as well as the mud tubes they use to travel. If you notice any cracked or bubbling paint, or wooden structures that have a hollow sound to them, your home has most likely become termite dinner.
Fortunately, there are many treatments available for termites (however, you’re still going to need to repair the damaged parts of your home). You could call up a professional who will most certainly get the job done right, but it won’t be inexpensive. Or, you could get rid of termites with one of the many DIY treatments available. There are termite monitoring stations which will help to indicate whether you’ve actually got an issue if you’re still unable to tell. There are also insecticides and fungicides, bait stations, specialized termiticide solutions, and other at-home pest control treatments.
It’s not a bad idea to buy a few termite monitoring stations at the beginning of the season just so that you can nip the problem in the bud should it affect your home. But there are other things you can do to prevent these pests from chowing down on your wooden structures:
- If you live in a wooded area, regularly clear out fallen wood debris like sticks and branches.
- Don’t lean firewood against your home.
- Eliminate sources of moisture, such as leaky pipes and HVAC units.
- Pre-treat any new wood that you use to renovate your home.
- Keep up on the cleaning of drains and gutters.
Though termites are a treatable pest, the damage they cause is not. Having insecticides on-hand, as well as tools for detecting their presence, will help to ensure that if you are so unlucky, the damage they cause won’t be the end of the world. As always, it’s better to stop the problem before it starts.
Even the word “rats” is enough to send chills down the spine. They’re unsightly, their beady little eyes are unwelcoming, and they cause a big mess. Regardless, some people have such a chaotic day-to-day life that they turn the other cheek at signs of rat problems because they think it’ll be too time-consuming and expensive to get rid of the issue.
What they don’t know is that NOT getting rid of the issue is the true definition of time-consuming and expensive, not to mention hazardous.
Rats aren’t just gross, they’re destructive. They’re a risk to your home, your health, and your pets – in ways you might have never imagined.
Rats consume 10 to 15% of their body weight in food daily. That means they can eat as much as a hundred pounds worth of food in two years – and that food is YOUR food as well as your garden and even parts of your home. Replacing all that rats consume, not to mention what they contaminate, is insanely expensive, especially if you’ve got a big infestation.
They keep their teeth sharp by chewing on your house. Not, of course, the brick of your house, but the good stuff: electrical insulation (and wires), thermal insulation, wood, et cetera. Not only can this cause extremely expensive structural damage, but rats are also the true cause of a hefty percentage of fires with “unknown” causes.
They’re not great for your pets. First of all, pet food can be one of the biggest things that attracts rats, so if you’re the type to leave your house for several hours a day while leaving cat food out, you’re out of luck. On top of that, rats can most certainly be the reason that you’re finding that your pets have fleas, which makes both you and your pets unhappy.
Your garden doesn’t like them either. All your hard work can go down the drain if you don’t take the proper outdoor rat control measures. Say goodbye to your beautiful flowerbed and your vegetable garden – these rodents love to snack on seeds and bulbs.
When you think about how they can spread disease, put you in financial ruin from destroying your home, and that they simply defecate as often as 60 times per day, you can see why you’d want to get your rat problem under control rather than – figuratively or literally – sweeping it under the rug.
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment complex, you know that one of the biggest issues is the fact that even if you’re cleanly, your neighbors might not be. With just a few litterbugs living in the building, it’s easy for there to be a buildup of garbage in stairwells and hallways. As it gets warmer, this helps the smell to travel, which is basically just asking for some new neighbors to move in: rodents.
You shouldn’t have to be the only one in your apartment complex who cares about the hygiene issues posed by rodent infestations, but at the same time, you don’t want to have to be exposed to them! As a responsible neighbor, there are a few things you can do to keep the rodents at bay. You could simply start by reading up on what attracts rats and what the best rat deterrents are; then, forward that information to your apartment building manager.
If you see any garbage left out in the open, it’s in your best interest to pick it up, especially if it’s food garbage. This is the number one reason that rats and mice would have to enter the building. Be aware of any cracks in the wall as well, and report them to the complex’s maintenance team. The more sealed a building is, the less likely the chance of rats entering.
Then, simply use some rat control products in your own unit, so that at least you can avoid the issue. Make sure that your door makes a complete seal with its housing, and that there are no cracks in your walls or baseboards. If you begin to actually see rats or mice in your apartment, you have the option of glue, electric, snap, and chemical rat bait stations, which can then be paired with various pesticides to get rid of the vermin. It is usually best to use a combination to lure and eradicate the rodents.
Your best bet, though, is to keep in touch with the manager of the complex and ensure that they’re meeting health codes. It’s their responsibility to maintain regular visits from an exterminator as to ensure this problem doesn’t occur. However, we all know what it’s like to have messy neighbors, so sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands.
No one wants rats on their farm, in their home, in their office building, or really anywhere but the wilderness…it’s a basic fact. They make you waste food, they destroy your wiring, they’re kind of gross, and the reasons go on. Getting rid of them yourself is totally an option, it’s something that people do all the time. But before you go on a witch-hunt for rats, don’t go into it thinking you know everything. Let us bust a few myths for you first.
Rats Love Cheese
Maybe you’ve just watched a little too much Tom and Jerry, but cheese isn’t your best bet when it comes to bait. Juicier foods are much more likely to work, such as peanut butter or lunchmeat. But even aside from that, you could always just purchase liquid bait which has been specially formulated for that exact purpose. Bait stations can be used to stop children, pets, and/or other wild animals from eating the bait which could harm or kill them
Poison and you’re Done
Sorry to tell you, but the rats aren’t (always) just going to leave your house kindly to die after being poisoned. Unfortunately, they’ll more likely stay inside, and they’ll be your problem. Be sure to use gloves and use a dustpan or trash bag to remove any dead animals, and don’t forget to disinfect high and low once you think they’ve all come to pass. If there’s a dead rodent in a hard-to-find place, such as inside your walls, you’re bound to know about it because of the odor. Try using Rat Sorb – it effectively eliminates the odor, even if you can’t find the pest.
Humane is the Way
Many people prefer to use humane rat traps because they don’t feel comfortable using poison. This is effective, but remember, the larger your rat problem, the more humane rat traps you’re going to need. This could up the cost and make the task more time consuming. If you catch the issue at an early stage, though, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.
Remember: it is much easier to maintain a clean environment to eliminate a rat problem before it starts.
Always empty and clean garbage containers that rats can get into, like garbage cans with loose lids, plastic or paper bags, and litter.
Remember…..rats love to eat pretty much anything! Always put leftovers and pet foods that have not been eaten in a secure location. Birdseed on the ground, pet food in pet dishes, bread crumbs, etc. will all attract rodents.
If you are a gardener, you may want to pick up any fruits, berries and vegetables that fall on the ground, especially if the garden is located near your house.
Clean any dog droppings in yard, because that will attract rodents.
Pests are unsightly. They freak us out. They make lots of noise at night and eat our food. But all these things are mere day-to-day nuisances compared to the real concerns that home invaders can cause – particularly, rats. They’re not just creepy crawlers, they’re actually hugely harmful when it comes to our living areas. If at first you thought it was an issue you could put up with, think again: here are the three main reasons you need rat poison, immediately.
If a rat or rats get into your home or business location, the unfortunate (and, yes, disgusting) truth is that they are going to be urinating and defecating inside. For this reason, they play a huge role in spreading a number of different pathogens in humans – we end up in such close proximity with them and whatever they leave behind.
Studies have shown that rats carry a shockingly high number of diseases and disease-causing organisms. 63% of rats found on farms, for example, carry cryptosporidiosis, an intestinal disease which results in diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes worse. 35% carry toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease which can cause birth defects in pregnant humans and animals. They also can carry leptospirosis, listeriosis, and more.
Rats are an economic detriment to your home or business because any foodstuffs they come near can be considered contaminated. They produce a staggering amount of urine and droppings each day, which are often difficult to detect. To avoid disease, it’s important to get rid of food that could have potentially come in contact with rats or their droppings – a wastage which adds up.
These vermin have been known to gnaw on nearly anything – wood, copper, electrical cables, and anything in between. This can not only compromise the structural foundation of a building over time, but may even cause electrical fires and damage piping. It’s better to catch them early before there are more rats – and more damage – than you can manage.
Depending on your situation, there are different products you might use to solve your issue, such as Contrac Blox and Protecta Sidekick Bait Station. Browse our rodent control page for more tips.
When the weather starts to warm up, a lot of homeowners look at their yards with a bit of anxiety. The winter months make for lots of debris and unkempt foliage, and those aren’t part of a nice-looking home exterior. For some, landscaping is a hobby while for others, it’s a hassle. But the truth of the matter is that if you want your home to be presented nicely, you’re going to have to exercise that green thumb, like it or not. Whether you’re doing a full-on redesign or some simple lawn maintenance, keep reading to find out a few tips and tricks that will make the job so much easier.
The number one thing that every landscaper should do when adding new plants into their garden or lawn is to use native plants. Planting plants and trees that are grown and purchased locally make for a much lower-maintenance lawn the rest of the year. It requires less effort because they’re already in the climate in which they best thrive in terms of weather and soil, so you don’t have to purchase any products to keep them alive.
Also, if you want a lawn that takes less of a hit over the winter months, use evergreens! Not only do they keep your lawn looking at least somewhat green when the rest of the plants are bare, but they won’t give you as many leaves to rake up when fall comes around.
Safari insecticide, it should be known, is a landscaper’s best friend. It’s one of the few DIY pest control solutions that is both easy and effective. The reason professional landscapers love it so much is that it’s safe and efficient on all types of foliage, whether it be trees, ornamentals, or shrubs. Pests can discolor your greenery or cause them to lose leaves or volume, and implementing Safari insecticide into your landscaping routine will keep the pests away so that all your plants look fresh and lively. It can double for use on interior plants!
Finally, use the internet to look up basic designs that you can play with. This makes it easier to make a landscaping plan if you’re looking to switch it up. You’ll find which types and shapes of shrubs to use as anchors to the design, as well as colorful flowers that can thrive in your location. Then, you can put your own personal touch on your garden with unique flowers, stones, and other décor.
Running a restaurant is a lot of fun. From choosing the menu to getting to watch everyone enjoy the food, there are a lot of reasons that being part of the management doesn’t seem like a chore. But, of course, like any other job, it does come with its share of dirty work – and in the food industry, pest control is always a concern. There are health codes that need to be passed, after all; luckily, though, it shouldn’t be an issue if you take thorough preventative measures and stay on top of cleanliness with these few tips.
Stopping the Problem Before it Starts:
Before opening the restaurant, and prior to opening each day, do an inspection of the location. Take note if there are any indicators that pests may be present, such as small holes in otherwise new packaging or animal droppings. Then, put glue traps near any possible entrances where pests could be getting in to find out if that is the problem area. Sanitize the area properly – the less mess/smell/food debris, the less of a chance pests will be interested. Finally, block off any areas that could be letting pests in like window sills, baseboards, and doors using caulk, new fittings, or whatever may be necessary.
Practicing Fly Control:
The best way to keep flies out of your facility is to make sure that they don’t want to come in in the first place. This means keeping any trash cans and dumpsters out back closed and secured, while also keeping all surfaces inside clean and free of food. Disinfect regularly. Put fly baits in trash collection areas in order to catch any flies before they make it inside. Most importantly, keep all drains – both sink and floor – cleaned with drain gel, as these are major fly breeding grounds, especially when organic matter has been sitting inside for days or weeks.
Practicing Rodent Control:
Be aware that even the smallest crack or hole in the wall is basically a free ticket for rodents to come inside, which is why the first tip is so important. Again, make sure baseboards, windows, and doors are sealed and caulked where applicable. Putting rodent bait and rat deterrents near dumpsters outdoors will prevent them from making it inside, but you should be sure to always implement bait stations as well to prevent children from touching the materials. Also, keep the area around the restaurant neatly landscaped so they have nowhere to hide. Avoid vegetation and having any tree branches touch the roof of the building. If there is still an issue, place rat traps near possible entrances and anywhere there is food or garbage.
There’s nothing particularly harmful about having ants invade your home, but most people find them quite unpleasant. They like to hang out on the walls and get into food, and it turns into quite a pest. Luckily, being a bit more careful can make them lose interest in your home pretty quickly, and if those tips don’t work, there are a lot of readily available DIY treatments that are sure to get rid of them.
If you’re noticing a few ants, or are afraid you might get them, here are a few things you can do:
Close up your Food
Keep any food in airtight containers, like sealable bags or Tupperware. This way, they can’t smell food, and even if they can, they can’t obtain it, so they have no reason to invade. Also, make sure your floors, tables, and counters are clear of any crumbs or spills – these are the biggest culprits for attracting ants! Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, either; wash them as soon as you’re finished with them.
A quick wipe-down of your home’s surfaces can make a world of difference.
You might not realize it, but there are often a lot of gaps in windowsills and doorways, not to mention cracks in walls. Ants are tiny and can get through anywhere. Do a routine checkup and make sure your home is sealed; if they can’t get in, they’ll go somewhere else.
And here are some tips for treating ants if you seem to have a problem:
- There are many scents ants don’t like – vinegar, salt, turmeric powder, paprika, and peppermint are a few. If you create a barrier with one of these items around doors and windows, and wherever you see the ants, they won’t want to come inside.
- Phantom aerosol and other at-home chemicals are readily available and work wonders for getting rid of ants.
- If all else fails, hiring an exterminator will do the trick. They are usually able to get rid of ants in one fairly inexpensive trip.
Nobody really wants to come home to find a huge rat in their kitchen or, perhaps worse, infesting the building of your business. But you can’t exactly blame the creatures for following their natural instincts to find food and warmth, either. If you’re the type that doesn’t really want to see the little guys get hurt, but you also don’t want them sharing your living space, there are some steps of preventative action you can take to avoid having to deal with them face-to-face. It’s not a good idea to do the following things if you know you live in an area where rats are roaming free:
Be Careful with Garbage
Rats are attracted to garbage and organic debris – they see it as food! If they smell it, they will come, so it’s important to make sure your garbage cans are made of a hard material that a rat wouldn’t be able to bite through – either metal or a very thick, durable plastic. Always make sure the lids are sealed onto the cans. With outdoor garbage, it can’t hurt to keep the cans elevated on, perhaps, pallets or a metal rack so that the pests cannot reach.
…and the Surrounding Area of your House
Do you have a garden? Be aware of your produce and when it starts to rot. Rotting increases the potency of the smell of fruits and vegetables, and rats will be drawn to it. Dispose of organic waste regularly to avoid attracting rats and other sorts of pests.
Also, remember not to create a hospitable habitat for rats in your yard – this is the key to outdoor rat control. These creatures love thick vegetation, such as tall grass, and will choose it as a new home if you provide it for them. By keeping your lawn well-manicured, hedges trimmed, and garden pristine, they won’t be able to make nests and will move on to another location. In addition, trim the branches of your trees away from the roof of your home – rats can climb and leap!
Don’t Let them In!
Simply make sure that your home is sealed well so that they can’t easily get inside. Rats are larger than most pests and if you ensure that the cracks of your doors and windowsills are sealed well, they won’t be able to find an entrance. It’s also highly recommended to use drain covers.