Seeing a spike in earthworm activity during the rain? Despite what you may have heard, earthworms are not trying to escape from drowning. In fact, an earthworm breathes through its skin which MUST stay moistened to function properly. Therefore, they can actually live for several weeks under water, if the water contains oxygen. So, when there is heavy moisture (i.e. Oregon rain), you will often find them above ground as they take advantage of this moisture to seek a different place to live without having to worry about drying out and dying. Earthworms are incredibly beneficial to gardens and yards. Not only do they increase the nutrients in your soil, they can actually improve drainage since they burrow through and aerate the soil. So, rather than brush aside the earthworms on your walkways, consider scooping them up and putting them in your garden area, compost pile, or yard.
Make your own Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit flies often appear in areas where fruit or vegetables are fermenting outside, the produce left behind after harvesting nature's bounty. They seek entry into warmer areas through opened doors or windows. Ant don't forget to check for that long-forgotten bag of onions or potatoes in the pantry. For a simple trap, try placing some apple cider vinegar at the bottom of a small bowl or jar. Mix in a little dish washing soap, creating bubbles on the top. Leave the mixture in the area of the flies. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, then land on the suds where they can't escape and sink into the liquid.
Keep Us Informed
One of the most important tips we can give you is to keep us informed! Communication is an essential part of a lasting relationship! We want our customers to be completely satisfied. So, please, if you're still seeing bugs in your home, and it's been at least one week since we've treated, don't hesitate to call and schedule a retreat. Retreats are especially necessary if you're a new customer and have had pest problems for quite a while. It may take several treatments before expected results are seen. Rest assured that your service is under warranty and retreats are included in your paid service.
To avoid rodent activity at a pet's exterior food dishes, move the dishes regularly. Rodents like to follow the same pattern of behavior once they find a daily food and water source. A change to their food source location is disturbing to rodents and will deter them from using your pet's food as their own.
If you have a rodent problem in your garage and use it as a storage area for food or personal belongings, be sure to store these items in plastic storage bins rather than cardboard boxes. rodents can easily chew through the cardboard and get into your foods and belongings and pass on nasty diseases like the Hantavirus and Salmonella. Click this LINK to learn more about the Hantavirus from the CDC.
Be sure to check under your sinks, tubs, and showers for leaks and make appropriate repairs. Damp and dark areas like these can attract ants, termites, and spiders both in and under your home.
Cucumber Ant Deterrent
Cucumber can be a natural deterrent for ants. Find an ant entry point and place cucumber slices or peels in front of it. Bitter is better. This may help prevent ants from coming into your home at this entry point.
Clear the Gutters
Insects are attracted to the moist debris that has gathered in your gutters over the winter, especially when it's warmed by the sun. Remove the gunk before it becomes a spring breeding ground.
Be sure to wear gloves when working out in your garden or flower beds. Some spiders may try to bite you by instinct when accidentally grabbed with clumps of dirt or weeds.
Shake Out Your Gardening Gloves
Planting in your garden or flower beds this weekend? Remembering to bring out the gardening gloves is important, but you also need to remember that your gloves sat in your garage through the winter. They may have become a resting spot for a spider, so shake them out before you slip them on.
As evenings get warmer, consider replacing regular bulbs with LED bulbs for lighting your outdoor spaces. mosquitoes are less attracted to them.
Pruning and Wood Piles
Many bugs are helpful to flowers, plants, and gardens outdoors, but bugs inside your home can be a nuisance. As part of an Integrated Pest Management Plan, you can do your part to help. For example, prune shrubs in the yard to remove dead branches and keep them from touching the exterior walls of your home. Also, stack firewood away from your home and off the ground.
Crawl Space Vent Maintenance
Spring has sprung and now is the time to maintain your crawl space vents and openings. If you closed the vents for winter, remember to open them now to allow for circulation under your home. Keeping them closed can increase the moisture underneath and entice termites to enter. Also, check to make sure your screens are intact to prevent critters from entering. Check crawl space covers are placed properly and close over the entire access area.
Recognize Your Bug Limit
Not every home needs professional pest control. Sometimes, self-managing pests results in success. However, if you've been dealing with a pest issue that's causing unnecessary stress in your life, it may be time to consult a professional. Losing sleep, constantly cleaning up pests only to have them reappear soon after, and cancelling events in your home all impact your quality of life. Recognizing your limit and asking for professional help once it's reached can be life changing.
Look Around your Home for Activity
Since it has warmed up a bit the last couple days, take a walk around your home and note any pest activity. Is there an area along your foundation with excessive webbing? Are you noticing wasps flying around your gutters? Is the dead brush on the side of your home active with ants? Bugs will always be outside, but if you notice an increase in activity in the noted areas a couple weeks from now, it could become an area of concern as warm weather and pest season picks up. Give us a call if you would like us to come take a look.
Bug Deterring Plants
Growing certain plants, inside and outside, may deter some of the pests that like to roam around your home. Try these: Mint, Bay Leaves, Garlic, Lemongrass, Basil, Geraniums, Catnip, and Chrysanthemums.
Your spring cleaning does double duty. Make your home beautiful and eliminate spaces spiders love to live by removing clutter in closets, basements, attics, garages, and outbuildings.
Is it Carpenter Ants?
If you're seeing large ants in your home, you could have Carpenter Ants. Check for piles of frass, chewed up pieces of wood that look like sawdust, as evidence of a Carpenter Ant infestation around the exterior foundation of your home. Carpenter ants remove the wood and push it out the ends of the tunnels they have created to make more room for their colony inside the wood.
Rodents can be a nuisance and a health risk. Especially now that rats are in the midst of spring breeding. Being proactive can help prevent any rodent problems. Trim vegetation away from the walls of your home, dispose of yard clippings rather than leaving them in piles, eliminate accumulated and unused odds and ends around your home, and check the perimeter of your home for any cracks or holes that could be entrance points for rodents. Just have new cable or internet lines installed? Did your AC unit get replaced? Remember to check in areas of recent modification or construction for holes left behind from the wiring or piping installed. Fill these openings with sheet metal or wire mesh-materials that rodents would rather not chew through. Note that caulking can be insufficient as rodents can chew through this softer material. Fun fact: it only takes a hole the size of a pencil eraser for a mouse to get through.
Bug Deterrent Candles
Make your own candles that smell great and help to keep the bugs away. Click on this LINK for easy-to-follow instructions.
Mosquitos in Standing Water
As preventative to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home, remember to dump and replace areas of standing water where larvae can grow, including kiddie pools and bird baths, every 2-3 days. Be aware of larger bodies of standing water and their potential for providing breeding grounds and consider methods of circulating these such as installing a small water pump.
Know the Truth
Incorporating home remedies along with pest control treatment is an important step in controlling pests in your home. However, some suggestions we read on the internet not only aren't accurate, but may in fact bring negative results. Ever heard of hanging bags of water with pennies inside them around your home? Mythbusters tackled this 'home remedy' idea on one of their episodes, and the effectiveness was debunked. See the results HERE. Also, Snopes.com contains an article (read HERE) in which a researcher found that the bags of water actually served as an attractant. Rather than hanging bags around your home, do your best to keep screens and doors closed during warm summer days. If necessary, hang fly strips near areas of entry, above garbage cans, or by the window in the kitchen. But be sure not to hang the traps over food or prep surfaces!
As the end of summer draws near, we'd like to remind you to close all the vents and openings leading underneath your home in preparation for cooling weather. Rodents such as the Norway Rat will attempt to seek shelter under your home where temperatures are warmer and food sources are nearby.
Prevent Spider Activity
With spider mating season in full swing, you're bound to see an increase in spider activity as males search for their mates. To prevent being bitten in the bedroom try the following: move your bed frame at least 4 inches away from the wall so spiders cannot move from the wall to your bed, keep the floors free from clutter such as laundry or pillows to lessen desirable areas for spiders to live, remove dust ruffles, tuck in sheets, and pull blankets up off the floor and onto the bed to ensure spiders cannot crawl from the ground up the bedding, and shake out shoes, especially tall boots, prior to putting them on in case a spider has crawled inside them.
Make your own Ant Resistant Food Dish