Cold weather brings everyone indoors. Sitting in your living room with a pair of slippers and a blanket wrapped around your shoulders can be a comforting feeling… until a mouse scurries across the floor.
Your family may not be the only ones enjoying the warmth of your home. Pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches and some species of spiders have life cycles longer than a year, meaning they need to find shelter during the winter to survive. These pests can pose serious risks to both people and homes.
When making their nests in walls, rodents can chew on electrical wires and drywall, and they are known to pass on diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches can contaminate stored food, leave droppings around the home and trigger allergic asthma, especially in children. On top of all that, some spiders commonly found around homes are poisonous.
Tips every homeowner can follow to keep pests outside during the fall and winter:
Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors, like mail slots and animal doors.
Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive. Using dehumidifiers in basements and garages will help keep these areas dry.
Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Crumbs and a buildup of garbage are attractive to pests scrounging for food. It is recommended to clean up after each meal and to properly close garbage cans when they are stored in the home or garage.
Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows. These are easy ways to keep not only pests, but also cold air out of the house.
Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens. Torn window screens and cracks under doors are an ideal entry point for household pests. When you open the window, you could be letting in more than just fresh air.
Inspect items such as boxes of decorations, package deliveries, and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Pests can find creative ways to get inside a home. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored outside.
Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time. Pests don’t discriminate between people food and cat food. Pet dishes that have been left sitting out are enticing for all kinds of insects and rodents.
Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or repairing an existing system will help draw water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract pests.
To keep your guests happy and your backyard pest-free during barbecues, consider the following tips:
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning a barbeque before sunset, plan on having plenty of insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin available for you and your guests. Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes in the area, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites.
Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume and candles — not to mention food and drink. Avoid using scented items beforehand and provide clear plastic cups for your guests as aluminum cans and plastic bottles are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes. And with guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and containers.
Keep garbage containers sealed and away from guests.
Clean trash, spills and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces.
Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in tightly closed garbage containers.
Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor space for eating and entertaining.
Remove or drain sources of standing water in your yard that could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths, and wading pools.
Florida pest control services are a must in the muggy, humid summer temperatures of our state. If you’re trying to figure out exactly what pests are “bugging” you and your family here are a few of the primary offenders in our area. Still not sure? Call the experts at Hulett Enviromental Pest Control Services for a free, expert consultation and environmentally friendly treatment options.
1) Ants: Due to the humid climate of our area ants are one of the pests that thrive. They multiply rapidly and can do significant damage to your lawn and landscaping – not to mention your skin through their bites! For more information about ants click here and contact us to receive $50.00 off your pest control contract.
2) Mosquitoes: You see them everywhere (and, if you don’t, you hear their unmistakable whine). If mosquitoes are eating you alive this summer than let us help you with our mosquito control treatment.
3) Termites: Termites are the hidden enemy of your house. Like ants they thrive in the humid climate of south Florida and make their feast on the trees in your yard and the wooden beams of your home. For help determining the type of termites you have and the best treatment for your property visit our website.
4) Rodents: The largest pests that may visit your home are rats and mice. If you’re noticing an increase in the amount of furry visitors around your house allow us to help.
Contact us to schedule your free in-home evaluation. You can visit our website or call us at 866-611-2847 to schedule a time for a visit from the pest control experts. We look forward to assisting you!
What questions should homeowners ask during a professional termite treatment?
Homeowners should find out specifics about the location and extent of termite damage. They should ask for further information on the products and materials that will be applied in and around their home. A federal law requires commercial applicators of “restricted use” products to be certified. The certification program is left up to the state. Homeowners can call the certifying state agencies for further information. They should also be aware of the difference between a repair and a retreat contract which stipulates a company’s ultimate responsibility for the job.
Homeowners shouldn’t hesitate to question their pest control operators about other pests or related pest information. PCOs are well-trained, educated and capable of discussing pests and pest-related public health and property threats. As consumers become increasing aware of and worried about the recent influx of pest-related public health threats they should feel free to contact NPMA or their local PCO to address any issues.
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