Upon first glance you may think that those tunnels and burrow openings in your yard, next to a mess of damaged crops and plants, belong to a family of snakes. However, many homeowners and gardeners will quickly learn that these underground tunnels have actually been dug by the rodent known as the vole - not to be confused with the mole.
According to the National Pest Management Association, the vole is compact and stocky with fur that is usually brown or grey and is typically between 4 and 8 inches long. This furry little pest has a short tail, small eyes and tiny ears that are partially hidden by its fur. The underfur of the vole is typically quite thick and covered with longer guard hairs. The 23 different species of voles can be found across all regions. The animals do not hibernate and are active year-round, day and night.
While the vole doesn't pose any serious threat to humans, it can cause extensive damage to your fields, crops, gardens and plantings. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, voles prefer fields and lawns that have lots of vegetation and coverage. Mulch and weeds provide them with both food and hiding spots. When it comes to your crops, backyard and garden, voles are capable of causing extensive damage. These pests will eat away at bulbs and root vegetables, as well as shrubs and trees. They also pose a serious threat to golf courses, lawns and ground covers. Their complex burrow systems, which can house several adults and young voles, are also known to damage crops from the bottom up.
Avoiding an invasion of voles or at least keeping the population to a minimum is the best case scenario when it comes to pest control. One way to do this is by reducing the vegetative cover in your area, according to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Reducing the vegetation also makes it easier to detect the voles in the first place. Removing the vegetative cover altogether would make your property undesirable for voles, eliminating the risk of invasion. If you noticed a growing population of the pest in your lawn, baiting or trapping are two alternative methods for managing the voles. If the situation gets too out of hand, it's best to call pest control management.
You probably already know that most people are repulsed by the simple sight of cockroaches. If you are personally dealing with a cockroach infestation, the feelings of disgust are probably even more intense. Unfortunately, the cold winter weather tends to be one of the reasons this pest ends up in your home in the first place, according to Any Pest. While you may know that you don't want to share your home with cockroaches this winter, there are a number of interesting facts about this pest that you've probably never heard.
Because of the high amount of traffic and the versatility of the facilities, pests are naturally attracted to long-term care institutions. Many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other care facilities include on-site kitchens and cafeterias as well as private rooms and common spaces. All of these places are susceptible to attracting pests because of the presence of food, water and viable habitats.
During the summer months, some people love to go camping with family and friends. Yet this fun trip can be ruined with a few unwanted visitors, most notably different types of bugs. Crawling spiders, hungry mosquitoes and buzzing flies can become annoying quickly. How can you avoid these pests when you're outdoors? Consider these tips to keep bugs out of your campsite.
Carpenter ants can chew through the strongest studs and stringers in a house as they hollow the wooden beams out for nesting. The resulting damage can weaken the home's structural support and require expensive repairs. Professional pest control workers can remove a colony of ants, but the best practice for homeowners is to learn the best ways to keep out an ant colony and prevent the problem before it begins.
As the weather cools, you'll probably see fewer pests than you did during the warmer months, but that doesn't mean they're all gone just yet. Some insects can actually come out in full force during the autumn, while others might seek refuge in your warm home. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as fall gets underway:
As the middle of summer approaches, you need to be vigilant about keeping your garden free of pests. Many insects breed during the summertime, which means they're on the lookout for great places to lay their eggs. For many bugs, that means near a source of food. In fact, some species of insects will lay their eggs inside budding vegetables and fruit so their larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch. That's why you have to keep harmful bugs out without damaging the bugs that could help you, such as bumble bees.
You might have noticed that, with the exception of the kitchen, you find more pests in your bathroom than in the rest of your home. This is because insects and rodents see the bathroom as a convenient watering hole. Pests love leaky pipes and standing water because these offer them a hydrating oasis in the otherwise dry biome that is your house or apartment. And if your bathroom develops mold, all the better for pests, who may eat fungus or use it to lay their eggs.
The kitchen is largest gathering place for pests in a residential home. The reason is simple: pests can grab a bite to eat and take a sip of water while they're here. And when they find such a bountiful place, they will return home to their nests and report the finding - before you know it, your whole pantry is a buffet for ants! The problem could get even worse if a piece of food falls somewhere and begins to rot. Similarly, fruit and vegetables you bring into your home may be harboring unseen pests waiting to hatch.