Home and property maintenance is no easy task and your monthly household to-do list likely never seems to end. Yet between re-painting the trim, cleaning the kitchen and fixing that hole in the roof, you can't forget about home pest control. You and your family members aren't the only ones who find your cozy four-bedroom ranch inviting and if you're not careful, you could have an infestation of mice or other pests taking over your basement.
While that cute little mouse in your yard may seem innocent, that's not exactly the case. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents such as mice and rats can spread up to 35 kinds of diseases. Throughout regions of Canada and the U.S., rats and mice are common invaders, able to live off the food, debris and mess left behind by homeowners. That is why it's so crucial to practice effective prevention methods.
The two most important forms of prevention are sanitation and rodent-proof construction. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that while good sanitation may not be able to fully prevent rodents from invading, poor sanitation will certainly help to attract them. Ensuring that your home, shed, garage, basement and attic are as clean as possible is one of the best ways to decrease your risk of an infestation. Never leave food or dry goods open, always be sure to store products in sealed air-tight containers. Frequent vacuuming, scrubbing and general cleaning are good habits. Moreover, the source advised "building them out" with rodent-proof construction from the beginning, by sealing off all openings, holes and cracks bigger than 1/4-inch wide to your home.
No matter how many prevention methods you have tried, sometimes rodent infestations are inevitable. The National Pest Management Association stated that there are several telltale signs that mice or rats have invaded your home. One of the most common signs is coming across pest droppings. Homeowners are likely to find long pellets near kitchen cabinets, pantries, inside chewed boxes, along baseboards and even under sinks. The CDC advised using the utmost precaution and safety measures when handling the droppings, as they can spread several harmful diseases.
Gnaw marks is the next most common indicator that there is a problem, according to the NPMA. Norway rats, common throughout Canada, and house mice are even able to chew through wires. Strange noises, rub marks and nests are further indicators of an infestation. If you see an actual rodent, it is best to call your local professional commercial pest control agency.
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.
In the summer months, people love to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Some even venture to farmers markets where the food is cheaper. However, not only do fruits come home with you, fruit flies may too. Once they've gotten acclimated in your home, they might stay all summer. These pests breed quickly, and tend to spread through whatever food you've got around. They also are happy to join in on any meal you have, be it a sit-down dinner or a barbecue in your backyard. Worst of all, like other flies, they carry disease. Consider these tips on how to prevent fruit flies from coming home with you.