Learning About Natural Pest Control

All-Natural Pest Control Methods: Do They Really Work?

You’ve discovered creepy crawly invaders in your kitchen or mice in your walls and you want to get rid of them quickly, but safely. A quick search for natural pest control solutions will turn up all kinds of tips and tricks for everything from getting ants out of your kitchen to humane mice control, but do these all-natural pest control methods really work? Here are a few that you might find in your search and information on how effective each method tends to be. Plant essential oils for pest control Using essential oils in the garden in place of pesticides can seem like a very attractive option, especially if you have kids or pets. However, most essential oils aren’t as effective at long-term pest control as you think. They may work for a quick fix, killing insects or repelling pests temporarily, but they must be reapplied often, or sunlight and rain can render them ineffective. For outdoor pest control, consult a professional. There are several safe pesticides that can be used even around children and pets, and they are much more efficient than essential oils for battling pests in the long term. Ultrasonic pest repelling devices Wouldn’t it be great if you could just plug in a device, switch it on, and send mice and other pests fleeing in fear? Well, according to the manufacturers of some ultrasonic pest repelling devices, that’s exactly what you can do. Alas, there hasn’t been a great deal of evidence found to support the efficiency of these devices. Their effectiveness has been disputed by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), but you could try them and hope for good results. Or, you could call in a pest control expert and ask for advice on your pest control problems. Get a cat Getting a cat for mice control is another ‘nice in theory’ method of pest control, but the reality is far different. Unless your cat is practically feral and used to catching mice for food, they probably won’t be interested in keeping rodents out of your home. Most domestic cats are simply too domesticated, preferring cat food to mouse meals and they likely lack the drive to hunt more than their dinner bowl. Of course, in some instances, such as on farms or even in large warehouses, feral cats can help with mice extermination, but unless you’re ready to take on a wild cat, leave […]

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What You Need To Know If You Have Anxiety & PTSD From A Bed Bug Infestation In Your Home

If you have a fear of bed bugs, you are not alone. In fact, some people become so distraught over the little blood suckers that their mental health gets impacted, which is what happened in Detroit when a woman burned down an apartment building out of her desperation to get rid of the bed bugs. That incessant worry and anxiety caused her to not think clearly about her actions, which involved an opened stove on full blast to get the apartment as hot as possible and fumes from rubbing alcohol to try to kill the bed bugs. Unfortunately, the excessive heat ignited the fumes from rubbing alcohol. Stories like this can make you realize that it is very possible to suffer from anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to an infestation of bed bugs. Take Care Of You Psychiatric research has shown that bed bugs can, indeed, cause PTSD. Anxiety and PTSD can be difficult to overcome, especially when your triggers are always present. It’s a good idea to seek professional care from a psychiatrist and therapist if you feel you have anxiety and/or PTSD, especially if you must continue to live in the home before, during, and after treatment. It’s a good idea to have someone with you for emotional support if you need to be in the home during pest control treatment. Since bed bugs can travel on clothing, the pest control service personnel may show up wearing hazmat suits. While your home is being treated, it may be a good idea to stay with a supportive and understanding friend and/or family member, especially if you are unable to think clearly. It’s not a good idea to stay alone in a hotel, especially given the fact that hotels are notorious for bed bug infestations. However, if staying in a hotel is your only option, there are apps available that show where people have lodged complaints about bed bugs in hotels and apartment buildings. This can help you narrow down your choices so you can find somewhere to lay your head without being too overly concerned about bed bugs. Treat Your Home & Prevent Future Infestations Treatment for bed bug control can include the use of heat and/or insecticides and are determined by the severity of the infestation and any local ordinances that may be in place. Extreme heat causes bed bugs to die and is a […]

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Taking Aim at Squirrels: What to Do When They Infest Your Rental Property

When you rent out apartments or homes, it is important to keep your tenants satisfied with the maintenance of the property. This includes making sure that pests like squirrels do not take over the grounds, destroy vegetation and infiltrate building spaces. If you have an infestation of squirrels in your apartment complex, the following guide can help you implement a plan to manage them. Warn Residents About Squirrels Squirrels can destroy plants, invade bird feeders, and even short out electrical devices like transformers. Once they get inside, they can chew through insulation, build nests and keep residents up at night with noises from scurrying around in attics and in between walls. If your property becomes overpopulated by tree and ground squirrels, be upfront with your residents about the dangers of feeding and trying to entice the small creatures. While they may look like carefree animals having a good time scurrying from power lines to trees, if you try to feed them they may bite and put you at risk for rabies, ringworm and other diseases. Send out notices to your residents to ask them to refrain from feeding squirrels or trying to turn them into pets. The small animals cannot be domesticated, have razor sharp nails and are unpredictable. If you or one of your residents is concerned about an injured squirrel, contact your local animal control office instead of trying to handle the rodents on your own. Remove Squirrel Food Sources In order to keep squirrels from feeding on your property, remove their main sources of food. While bird feeders may attract colorful birds, they are also a place where squirrels can easily find food. Either remove the bird feeders or apply petroleum jelly to bird feeder poles to make it hard for squirrels to climb up to the food containers. Some garden stores even sell squirrel-resistant bird feeders. Also ask residents to do the same, rather than replacing their bird feeders for them. Then, make sure that outdoor trash receptacles and dumpsters have covers so squirrels cannot find food in the garbage. Modify Vegetation and Block Entry Points If you routinely see squirrels running around upper floor walkways and roofs, make sure that you remove tree branches that are close to apartments so the animals cannot jump from trees to buildings. Also avoid planting hickory and oak trees on your property. These trees provide ample seeds and nuts for squirrels. In order to […]

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Worried about the Effects of Termite Extermination on Your Kids and Pets? What Are Your Safest Options?

If you’ve recently received the sobering news that your home has termites, you may be anxious at the thought of these pests digging their way into your home and want to schedule a bug bombing as quickly as possible. However, if you have young children or pets at home, you may also be concerned at the thought of them encountering residual pesticides in your home or on your lawn. Are there any natural or nontoxic ways to quickly eliminate your termite problem? Read on to learn more about how you can get rid of your home’s termites (and keep them away for good) without using potentially harmful chemicals or insecticides. Are there any natural ways to treat a termite infestation? Although the mere word “termites” strikes fear into the heart of any homeowner, these insects do serve a valuable purpose in the natural world. Without termites, dead or dying trees and brush would take decades to decompose. Termites speed up this process and create compost that can improve the soil quality. However, you’ll want to encourage any termites in your area to feast on fallen trees rather than your deck or your home’s structural support beams. In many cases, you can help draw out termites from your home by placing rotting logs in strategic locations near the edge of your yard. When the termites from your home colonize this log, you’ll be able to drag it deeper into the woods away from your home or even have it disposed of by a logging or landscaping company. You’ll also want to inspect your home’s foundation and any retaining walls for “termite tubes,” which look like small mud cylinders and are used for sleep and shelter when termites begin invading a new structure. If you see any of these tubes, knock them off the wall immediately and spray the wall with a garden hose to thoroughly remove any residue.  Another way to prevent termites from entering your home is to ensure there’s an adequate barrier between your home’s foundation and the surrounding soil. Although they have wings, termites tend to burrow through soil like ants to get from place to place. Removing any wood chips or other potential source of infestation from the area immediately bordering your foundation can help block this transfer, as can the placement of a steel or aluminum shield around the edge of your foundation. What should you do […]

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Termite Control: 3 Pre-Construction Techniques That Keep Termites at Bay

Termites can single-handedly destroy the architectural support of your home, as colonies work 24 hours a day eating away at wood and other types of construction materials. While there are many strategies recommended for exterminating termites, you want to make sure that the termites are not even presented the opportunity to start a colony. Your house is most vulnerable when it is still being constructed or when new renovations are being made. Here are 3 pre-construction techniques that you should consider implementing. Spread Soil-applied Liquid Termiticides It’s easy for termites to make their way into construction materials when there are no barriers set up. Termites can easily travel and hide in the soil, so that you and the construction workers are unaware of their presence. The easiest way to preventing termites from even reaching or coming into contact with your house or with any newly renovated areas is to spread soil-applied liquid termiticides around your property. The termiticides in the soil will act as a chemical barrier. Soil-applied liquid termiticides can be added to your property before the concrete foundation is poured. The soil is spread around the perimeter of the property. There are two different types of liquid termiticides that can be applied: non-repellent or repellent. Repellent termiticides work by making sure that the termites will avoid the treated soil. On the other hand, non-repellent termiticides will not deter termites from tunneling in the soil. Instead, the termites will eventually die from exposure to the chemicals in the termiticides. Wrap Stainless Steel Mesh Around Vulnerable Areas During the construction process, a lot of the internal architectural areas will be exposed to the environment. Termites can easily hide in small nooks and crannies, and eventually burrow their way into the heart of the house. To prevent termites from being able to reach these vulnerable areas, have the foundations, the pipes, and other areas exposed to the external environment wrapped with a stainless steel mesh. The stainless steel mesh will act as a physical barrier to prevent termite intrusion. The stainless steel mesh should not be used as a substitute for termiticides. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with other termite control treatments and techniques for optimal efficacy. This way, even if a termite is able to reach the construction materials by luck, it will not be able to burrow into the house. Install Metal Termite Shields The foundation of […]

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Swarming Insects: Identifying Flying Ants And Flying Termites

The sight of swarming black insects near your home may raise your concerns about termites. While they may be termites, they may also be flying ants. Both insects go through a swarm stage and can be difficult to tell apart. Knowing how to tell the difference between the two and what to do if you spot them is important to the safety of your home. Flying Ants Many people are confused about exactly what a flying ant is, as they are accustomed to seeing wingless ants. Some even assume that flying ants are a separate species of ants. This is not true. Flying ants come from the same colony of ants as wingless ants. These ants appear after several years when the ant colony has outgrown its location. The ants begin to grow wings in preparation for leaving the colony. When they leave the colony, they may join swarms from nearby ant colonies as they all gather to mate and begin new colonies. Females that mate successfully become new queen ants. The males die after mating, and the mated females disperse to create new colonies. You can identify flying or swarming ants by their body shape. Here’s what to look for in flying ants. Antennae – The antennae on ants have an elbow bend. Waist – Ants are shaped more like an hourglass with a slender waist and larger body. Wings – Ants have two pair of wings similar to those of a butterfly. The top pair is larger and wider with a distinct angle on the outer edge. The lower set of wings are smaller. Both sets of wings have rounded edges. Termites If you think of termites as white grub-like insects found chewing on wood, you may be surprised to learn that sexually-mature termites look a lot like flying ants. Like ants, termites also develop wings and take to the air when they have outgrown their colony and are ready to mate and establish a new home. You may notice swarms of termites either inside or outside your home. You can identify swarming termites by their body shape. Look for these tell-tale signs. Antennae – Termites have straight antennae that look like a V extending from the top of the head. Waist – Termites do not have a defined waist like ants do. Their body is relatively straight. Wings – Termite wings look like the wings on a […]

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