Tag Archives: rodent

Pest Control Begins With Prevention

A homeowner’s first step in pest control is always prevention. Pests find certain environments more inviting than others, and you want to ensure that your living space isn’t one of them. Though insects and rodents don’t solely target unkempt households, the more meticulous you are with maintenance indoors and around the perimeter of your home, the less you should have to worry about pest infestations causing chaos and property damage and negatively affecting your health. Eliminating appealing elements and sources needed for survival (food, water, and shelter), along with having periodic inspections from a pest control professional, will help you avoid the nuisance of uninvited critters.

Food Sources

Roach On Cracker

It’s no secret that a bite to eat is what a majority of pests are looking for when they enter a home, so properly storing food and cleaning up any remnants of crumbs can help to send them in another direction. Wipe down kitchen counters, don’t leave dishes in the sink, clear up spills quickly and sweep and vacuum the floors regularly. Limit meals, snacks and beverages to the kitchen and dining areas to cut down on the number of places food residue can potentially be found. Keep pantry and leftover food in tightly sealed containers that aren’t vulnerable to gnawing teeth and holes that allow creepy crawlers to enter. Frequently wash out garbage bins (those that are kept inside as well as outside), make sure they are always covered with lids, rinse out all recyclables before tossing them out and take out your kitchen trash daily.

Water Sources

Ant Drinking Water

There are several different kinds of water sources around a property that will attract pests if homeowners aren’t careful. Don’t leave pet bowls out all day and night, thoroughly wring out wet mops, clear out slow or clogged drains and take extra notice of any leaky plumbing indoors. Outside, be sure to clean out all gutters and drainage pipes consistently, fill in any holes that could allow for standing water and keep an eye on decorative landscaping accessories like birdbaths and fountains that can easily become a breeding ground for pests. Humidity may also capture the attention of insects and rodents, making it important to keep your home well-ventilated and to routinely check attics, basements and crawl spaces for signs of dampness.

Shelter Sources

House Mouse Concrete

Sometimes vermin just need to take shelter in a cozy place, but you don’t necessarily want that to be your place. Keep your preventive pest control efforts up by blocking entry points that would give them access indoors. Secure mortar around the foundation of your home, reinforce stripping around doors and windows, install screens, caulk all holes and cracks, repair damaged roofing materials and keep vents closed off or appropriately covered. It’s also a good idea to keep all vegetation well-trimmed and away from the home and to store wood further away on the property, as these things can provide the perfect hiding spots for pests.

Practicing these methods of prevention will assist you in keeping the insects and rodents at bay. But at the first indication of a problem, it’s to your advantage to call in the help of a pest control professional before matters get any worse.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson lives in beautiful Northern California and blogs regularly on pest control and home related topics. When she is not researching or blogging you will usually find her on a weekend road trip or hanging out with good friends.

Peppermint Oil and Mice Control

MouseAs soon as someone discovers they have a mice problem they immediately turn to poisons or traps. Poison is dangerous especially if you have pets or children. In my opinion, most mouse traps are inhumane. They are very messy and unnecessary. However there is a fantastic repellant for getting rid of mice that no one ever talks about.

I’m not sure if there is a lack of good information or people are just skeptical about trying something new. Whatever the case may be peppermint oil is a proven and effective deterrent for getting rid of mice. It has a strong sent that is very pleasing to humans but highly offensive to rodents. Mice depend on there since of smell to communicate, find food, and survive. They cannot tolerate the scent of peppermint oil. So they will have no choice but to pack up and leave.

Here is what you need to know

Although peppermint oil is inexpensive not many regular stores carry it. The best place to find peppermint oil is at Amazon. All you’ll need is a 1 oz. bottle. This will usually cost you a little less than $10 dollars. If you want to keep some on hand at all times and save money, purchase the 4 oz. bottle. This will cost you less than $15 dollars.

How to use peppermint oil for mice control

You’ll want to figure out where you think the mice are hanging out. The best way to determine this is to look for mice droppings. Some of the most common places mice hide out are in storage areas, in drawers, cabinets, and even behind refrigerators.

You’ll want to purchase some standard cotton balls. Apply a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and leave them in all the areas you think the mice may be. Also, leave some in areas where you think they may be using as pathways.

Peppermint is very strong. So you’ll only need to use a limited amount. Using too much could cause irritation to your eyes and throat. Leave the cotton balls in the designated areas for up to six weeks. To prevent the mice problem in the future continue to replace the peppermint cotton balls every four to six weeks.

Purchasing peppermint oil is simple and easy. However, many people choose to grow their own peppermint inside their house. This is a great cost effective way to keep rodents and mice out of the house.

If for some reason your mice problem continues, it’s always a good idea to contact your local pest control company. Most lawn and pest control companies offer environmentally safe treatments for their clients.

Realizing the Value in Pest Control

Exterminator SprayingThe significance of pest control goes a lot deeper than many people realize. It’s safe to say that most of us dread the thought of ever having to use this type of service, but there are others that really never give it much thought until they absolutely have reason to. Pest control is much more than just making sure your residence is cleared of the bugs that commonly pop up here and there. Even if finding the telltale signs of insects or rodents in your home don’t necessarily concern you, there are several reasons that pest control services are necessary for a better quality of life.

Health Concerns

As a result of all the germs they carry around with them, pests have notoriously been the cause of sickness and disease in decades past. Better pest control over the years has led to a decrease in related health concerns, but we must continue to implement insect and rodent management strategies, especially in our homes, if we want to continue to prevent contamination. Many allergic reactions and asthma attacks are caused by pests that have infiltrated a home and gone undetected.

Agricultural Production

Pest control in agricultural production has always been crucial to maintaining much of our food source. Without it, there is a very real possibility that all of the plant-eating pests out there could wipe out many of the crops we rely on. A plant’s health and productivity depends heavily on the effective management of insects and the methods used to enforce it. In an effort to respect the environmental movement and the worries that many people have about the use of chemicals in agriculture, great strides have been taken to use sustainable pest control tactics.

Impact on Public Businesses

No one wants to eat in a restaurant or employ the services of a business where pests are obviously running rampant. This, again, suggests there should be cause for health concerns, especially when the contamination of food is in question. An effective pest control method must be executed immediately in a food service business. Any other type of industry or company can expect to see a decrease in client relations as well when they can’t keep up clean appearances which in turn will eventually begin to affect our economy’s growth.

Termite DamageStructural Damage

If you’re a homeowner, you should already be aware of the destruction caused every year by pests like termites, carpenter ants and rodents that will eat through a structure or chew on electrical wires and wreak all kinds of havoc. The cost of repairs can be quite hefty, and the stresses that come along with having to deal with an especially damaging situation can be prevented with regular termite and pest inspections and subsequent management procedures.

The key to living a lifestyle that doesn’t include pests is to be aware of your surroundings and take action before the threat of infestation becomes too much to handle. Whichever method you choose to use, the importance of pest control becomes evident once you become informed of just how much the lack of it would negatively impact our environment.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson is a full-time blogger from Northern California who writes regularly about home issues including pest control.  A great resource for information is Killroy Pest Control who specializes in pest control in Hayward.

4 Inconvenient Places To Find Pests

While I’m sure you’ve checked the rain gutters, outdoor pipes, and the woodshed outback, there are several more uncommon places where unwanted guests can nest and thrive that can go unnoticed for longer than you think. Here are some of the main places that you’ll definitely want to check before turning in tonight!

In the Bed!

Not just under the bed, but actually in the bed. Bed bugs are a huge problem that most people think are just something from the days where people had wooden teeth, wool wigs, and only took baths on the full moon. However, if there are tiny bites on your legs in the morning, you’ve already got a huge problem. Lucky for you, bed bugs are some of the easiest to control. There are several sprays and preventative measures you can take, but if you have already been bitten, then you may need to turn to a professional service to take care of the critters.

Under the Furniture

Remember those Cheetos and Oreos you washed down with some Root Beer last months? Of course you don’t, but the mice and roaches sure are grateful for the crumbs. This may be the first place you will notice pests, unless you’re going to be the next featured guest on Extreme Hoarders, in which case…you may have bigger problems. When the roaches and mice become visible, that already means you have a pretty big problem, so remember to clean up those crumbs and spills before insects get to them.

In the Attic

While it’s certainly not as creepy as the basement, it still gets much less traffic. People go months and years without going up to their attic. Even if it’s as tiny as a crawl space, if you’re not checking it out every time you get your Christmas decorations down, you may be letting rodents and termites nest right above your head throughout the winter and into the summer.

While the termites might not be causing foundation damage to your home when they’re up there in the attic, they can weaken the floors, framing, and the rodents can eat away at the foundation, allowing for more unwanted guests to make their way in. Make it s resolution to check your attic once a year and allow pest control experts to rid your home of any freeloaders you currently have.

In the Bathroom

Maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve give the bathroom cabinets and under the sink a good scrub. It’s hard to reach down there right? Well, it’s really not that hard, but most of us would rather just ignore the dirt and mildew growing underneath the sink, just like we’d prefer to ignore the fact that there are little critters down there too, eating away at our old toothpaste tubes.

Under the sink is a great way for pests and rodents to go unnoticed since they can create holes in the dark behind where you keeping the toilet bowl cleaner and extra tissue boxes and make homes and tunnel systems from this point through the rest of your home. I wasn’t expecting my plumbers to tell story after story of the harms of not checking your cabinets, or neglecting inspections for your pipes until they burst from rodent damage! Many of the stories were about what they found while drain cleaning in Chicago! A word of advice, resolve to clean under there at least once every couple weeks and don’t just assign it as one of your lazy kid’s chores.

Remember these hot spots before putting a toe into bed tonight and keep you family and home safe from any species of creepy crawlers that can make it into your home this winter.

Lucy Markham is an avid blogger, and as a recent homeowner, considers herself a bit of an expert in all things home improvement, gardening, and home décor.

Staying Pest Free In The Winter: 4 Tips To Help You Reclaim Your Home

As fall fades away, families spend more time indoors talking, playing games and gathering around the fireplace. However, they aren’t the only ones who want to seek shelter from the cold; many pests, like mice and roaches, are also interested in staying warm and comfortable. Naturally, you don’t want anything in your home that doesn’t belong there. The following tips will help you reclaim your living space from these little intruders.

Use Plastic, Not Paper

It is important to store your pantry food in a container that pests can’t gain access to. The paper boxes you purchased the food in, therefore, are not going to work. Instead, place your food in a plastic container. Rodents will be hard pressed to chew through them, and they have the added bonus of keeping your food much fresher over time. Remember, one of the reasons that pests are entering your home is because they want easy access to food. If you take away that access, they will have to go elsewhere in order to survive.

Clean Regularly

If nothing else, pick up your home each evening so the floor space is clean. Anything you leave laying around is a haven for pests; they can hide in it and will consequently feel comfortable putting down roots in your house. Completing a quick pick up will make your living space look better and should also discourage pests from making your house their home.

Seal Up Holes

Walk around the perimeter of your house, and take the time to closely examine the walls. If you see a hole or a crack, make sure to close it up. Even larger pests, like mice or rats, can squeeze into very small spaces, so it is important that you don’t neglect to fix any openings that you find. A bit of caulk should solve most problems, but if you have a particularly large hole, you may need to bring in a handyman to take a look at the situation.

Check Your Screens

If you have mesh screens covering your doors and windows, periodically check them for any holes or tears. Much like a crack in your foundation, a hole in your screen will allow all different types of pests to get into your home. These screens are useful, though, for allowing fresh air to flow into your space, so you shouldn’t discontinue their use altogether. Simply be vigilant about maintaining them properly.

While many people think of summer as being the prime season for pest problems, the truth is, winter can be quite difficult as well. If you are struggling to control the pest population in your home, try the four tips above. With enough time and effort, you should be able to get rid of pests once and for all.

Morgan is a proud mother who enjoys spending her days discovering fun and interesting things to do with her young son. At night, she is an avid writer and solves all her pest problems with the help of a Jersey City Pest Control company.