Mice, roaches, and bed bugs, oh, my!
Pest control is one of civilized life’s norms. We build wonderful homes and we want to live there with our loved ones. Unfortunately, the smaller creatures in the world want to come into our homes and live with us.
Exterminators help us keep out pests, but there is a large number of things we can do for ourselves that can help to keep little critters out.
This article will let you know about the most common pests, what you can do to keep them out of your house, and how to find a great pest control company.
All Creatures Great and Not so Great
There are all types of pests that might try to get into your house. Most of them are harmless creatures simply trying to find a warm, safe place to live. Here is a list of the most common pests and how they make it into your home:
- Bed bugs – These little critters have become a plague. Some experts think that this has been caused by humans keeping our homes too tidy. Yup, you read the right, too tidy. We used to have more spiders and other insects that would eat the bed bugs and their eggs. Bed bugs don’t transmit disease, but they are gross and hard to get rid. They enter our homes through clothing, luggage, and on our bodies. We often get them at friend’s houses, hotels, and other places we travel.
- Ants – Nature’s most industrious little bugs are also very difficult to get rid of. Every day, ants leave their nests in search of food. Sometimes, they find it in your cupboards and on your countertops. Once a single ant finds food, they tell every other ant where to find your food and they show up in quantities. Some, like carpenter ants, will even try to make a home in the walls of your house.
- Mice and rats – These little rodents are some of nature’s most talented survivors. Wherever there are humans, there are rats and mice. These animals will eat anything and will gnaw on everything, including the insulation on wiring. The things that they do can lead to fire and disease.
- Roaches – Nothing is worse than turning on the lights to get a late night glass of milk and seeing thousands of little black-brown insects running for cover. It’s even worse when they don’t run. Roaches crawl all over everything, spreading disease and filth on your food, countertops, and more. Ewww!
- Bees and wasps – In nature, these insects are vital to the balance of nature. In your home, they are a terror. They make is hard to get in and out of your house. They are stinging insects that can be painful and even deadly. You can find them in the walls of your home, in the ground near your house, or in a nest built on the outside of your home.
- Termites – This little insect can do more damage to you home than an army of children. They not only burrow into your home, but they literally eat your house, using the wood as food and turning your home into dust. They get into your house via trees and bushes and even through the ground.
Some simple ways to keep pests out
The best pest control is to keep them out in the irst place. Here are some things that you can do to keep the nasties out:
- Avoid bedbug infested hotels. Keep your luggage off the floor and wash everything as soon as you get home.
- Trim bushes and trees that touch are or are near the walls of your house. Termites and ants use these like a superhighway to get into the home.
- Make sure that you caulk up every hole, large and small. Insects can use the tiniest holes to enter your home. All they really need is to be a tiny space between the siding or a gap along the bottom of a wall.
- Avoid debris being allowed to be piled along the outside of the house. Bugs will take shelter in the branches and leaves and then get into your home.
- Take of wasps’ nests and beehives right away. A processional is often needed to make sure that you don’t get hurt. Don’t allow them to grow to the point they are dangerous.
- Watch where wasps and other bugs come and go from. There are lots of ground wasps that can sting bare feet that walk over them.
- Keep wood piles off of the side of the house. I might be easier to bring in wood, but it’s also easier for the insects to get in.
- Keep any fireplace wood on non-wood floors and in metal holders. Watch for termites and larvae the fall off of the wood.
- Larger critters, like raccoons and rabbits, need to be handled by professionals. It isn’t necessary to kill them; they can be relocated to a different area without a problem.
- Plan to have a pest control specialist stop by periodically, especially if you have consistent problems.
How to Choose the Right Pest Control Specialist
Finding a pest control specialist is easy. Finding one that is really great and will take of whatever you need might be a bit trickier.
If you seem to have on-going problems, you should plan on having a monthly or quarterly check-up from your contractor. They will stop by your place, look for any evidence of pests, reset any traps that they may have left, and get out ahead of any infestations that might be starting.
Finding the right pest control contractor starts with a search on www.qualitysmith.com . You will find a simple and massive database of contractors around the country that will help you.
Once you have found a few in your area, you should get proposals from them. You might only want a single visit or a monthly plan. Either way, ask for bids that detail what will be done and how often. As soon as you have gotten the proposals, you should look into the contractors themselves:
- As for their contractor’s license information. You should then verify it with your state.
- As for their insurances, liability and worker’s compensation. Make sure that these polices are paid up and in force.
- Check for online reviews to make sure that they don’t have a history of poor workmanship.
Once you have found the right person, they should be very easy to work with.
A Special Note on Bedbugs
Bedbugs are just creepy. Nothing is as disheartening as being a parent, going in to wake up your child in the morning, and finding thousands of tiny little blood spots on their sheets.
Bedbugs don’t spread disease, but they are embarrassing and notoriously difficult to kill.
The most reliable way to make sure that you have bedbugs is to bring in a professional… dog. That might seem like a joke, but dogs can smell bedbugs and their feces. They are able to tell a pest control specialist where to find the bugs.
The best way to kill bedbugs is with heat. They adult bugs and the larvae die at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is too high for your home furnace to get to, but it’s not so high the most of the items in your house will suffer.
A professional will come to your home, open up the house, and help you remove anything that might get damaged by the heat. After that they will seal up the house so that the heat stays inside. They will then place special heaters in the home and raise the temperature to between 117 and 122 degree Fahrenheit. This will kill the bugs dead.
After that, you will want to vacuum your house well. It’s also important to figure out where you got the bugs in the first place. You don’t want to keep going back and reinfesting your house. That could get expensive.
Other pests and how to deal with them
There are other pests that can show up in and around your home that need to be dealt with. Here are a few articles that can help you figure out how to do that:
- Pigeons – These animals can be fun, but in large quantities are carriers of disease and make a mess. Here is an article that can help to keep them away from your patio.
- Deer – So beautiful and so destructive. Deer can eat your garden, destroy your trees, and tear up your lawn. This article gives you 10 ideas of how to keep them away.
- Mosquitoes - In the US are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. Keeping them away naturally will prevent you from needing to poison your lawn and family.
- Bats – The perfect solution to your mosquito problem, bats can also take over your attic, making a big, stinky, disease-ridden mess. Learn how to keep them out of your home.