Homeowners know that an important part of autumn lawn maintenance is the removal of fallen leaves. If left on the ground, the leaves will become moldy and full of bugs. If they lay under snow all winter, the spring melt will turn the leaves into a mushy mess. Whether your city removes your bagged leaves to a communal compost heap or you have a pile in your backyard, you should be aware of some common pests that like to hide out in mounds of leaves.
Some insects like to burrow into composting leaves in order to lay their eggs, which hatch with the spring thaw. Two such insects are onion maggots and onion thrips. They are so named because they typically burrow down into onion bulbs, but they'll take a pile of rotten leaves if they can get it. According to Cornell University, there is a direct relationship to how many eggs these pests lay and the amount of available food. Fewer food sources equal fewer pests, it's as simple as that.
Earwigs also like to hang out in piles of leaves and they like to chew on living plants. The University of California warned that if temperatures drop, earwigs may try to move out your compost pile and into your house. If there are too many of these pests around, spray insecticide on their habitat at night to get rid of them.
Another little pest that will find its way to the bottom of your compost heap is the pill bug. These gray insects like to live in decaying vegetable matter. In the guide "Garden Wisdom and Know How: Everything You Need to Know to Plant, Grow, and Harvest," Gardeners from the Rodale Institute assured readers that pill bugs do no harm to compost. However, they are not good for growing plants, so you should keep that in mind if you plan to spread your compost on next spring's crops.
To prevent excessive amounts of pests from taking over your compost heap, make sure the pile is maintained at the proper temperature. Washington State University noted that heat is naturally released during the composting process and that a temperature between 57-71 degrees Celsius will kill weed seeds and a pest eggs. Properly sustained, this is a great natural pest management option.
The easiest way to keep these leaf-loving pests off your property is to remove the compost altogether. Most towns across North America have leaf and yard waste pickup programs. By letting the city take care of the compost, you give yourself peace of mind and an easier time with your yard work next spring.
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.