Winter Pests that Invade Your Home

 

 

winter pests

Winter Pests – Some pests will go into hibernation during the winter months while winter pests enter you home looking for a warm place to live and for food sources.

The National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take several precautions against winter pests like mice, rates, raccoons, cockroaches, and spiders. Here are some tips that can help.

House Mice

These rodents are the most common encountered. They like to usually nest in dark, secluded areas like attics and basements. They can cause serious damage to drywall and wiring that could start a fire. These mice can contaminate food and spread disease including Salmonella.

Tips:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home with steel wool and caulk.
  • Keep areas clean and store boxes off the floor
  • Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food.

 

Norway Rats

These pests like to live in basements. They will gnaw through almost anything including plastic and lead pipes looking for food or water. These pests also spread diseases.

Tips:

  • They can fit through an opening as small as ½ inch. Inspect the outside of your home for any gaps or crack and fill them with silicone caulk.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture in your basement or crawl apace.
  • Regularly inspect the inside of your home for signs of infestation.

Cockroaches

German cockroaches are the most common breed of cockroach throughout the world. Your home is a perfect place for them to live. They like to live in small areas close to food and moisture. These creatures find their way into your home via grocery bags, boxes and used appliances. Your kitchen and bathrooms is normal where they migrate to. These pests can contaminate food sources and spread diseases.

Tips:

  • Always ask for plastic bags when shopping
  • Try to keep boxes and used appliances outside for a day if possible in the direct sunlight. These will cause the roaches to leave these areas while outdoors.
  • Keep counters and floors as clean as possible of crumbs
  • Take out your garage regularly

Raccoons

These animals are commonly found in the wooded eastern portions of the country. They however have become a problem in our areas due to wooded areas we have close by commercial dumpsters.  They occasionally will enter the home through the attic or even chimney. Raccoons area major host for rabies.

Tips

  • Be sure your outdoors trash cans and recycling bins are sealed. A good idea would be to place them in a locked outdoor shed.
  • Inspect the inside of your home for places they can get in, such as broken vent covers.
  • Place a mesh cover over your chimney and exposed openings to prevent entry.
  • Keep tree branches trimmed back from your home.

Spiders

The brown recluse spider prefers to spin their web in undisturbed places like closets, attics, crawl spaces, and basements. These spiders can bite and inject venom. These spiders are dangerous to humans.

Tips

  • Store clothing and shoes in plastic containers
  • Keep trees and scrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof.

We at Southern Pest Control hope this information will be helpful to you as winter approaches. Remember that we are here to help you stay pest free throughout the year. Please call us at 800 527-9832. Our friendly and experienced staff is waiting to help.

 

 

 

 

 

Palmetto Bugs A.K.A. The Flying Roach

 

palmetto bugs

 

 

Palmetto Bugs A.K.A. The Flying Roach

The ‘palmetto bug’ is actually another name for the cockroach. But it’s not the shy, brown-colored little guy that scurries under your desk. Palmetto bugs live in the Deep South, from South Carolina to Louisiana. Palmetto bugs are significantly larger than their northern brethren, blacker in color, and bolder. They won’t hesitate to drop on your head or run across your toes. Also, Palmetto bugs can fly. They are also better armored than cockroaches.

They can carry germs such as salmonella, spike allergic reactions with their shed skin and droppings, or just horrify the invited household guests. An infestation doesn’t necessarily mean poor housekeeping. They show up for the same reasons you do: food, water and shelter. And it’s that time of year: As summer turns to fall, cockroaches turn to cover. American cockroaches (aka the Palmetto bug) definitely move indoors in the winter, or at least closer to structures.

How to Solve Your Palmetto Bug Problem

The best way to control palmetto bugs is to eliminate situations that would attract insects. This includes keeping kitchens, bathrooms and storage areas as clean as possible. Also, never leave food out overnight and regularly vacuum or sweep floors to remove any fallen food crumbs. Furthermore, seal cracks and holes round your home, repair damaged screens and install weather stripping around doors and windows. This will help prevent palmetto bugs from entering your home.

Boric Acid

Also known as orthoboric acid, boric acid contains boron, which is a naturally-occurring mineral with a low-toxicity that can be used to control a wide array of insects. Even though boric acid can pose a health risk if not properly used, it is still considered safer than other chemical insecticides. Boric acid was registered in 1983 to control various insects including ants, weevils, beetles and cockroaches, and is also used as a fungicide and fire retardant. When used as an insecticide, boric acid works acts as a stomach poison and abrasive material that cuts through the insects’ exoskeleton.

My Encounter with a Palmetto Bug

Once, while in New Orleans, I saw a cockroach on a kitchen counter. I think it saw me, too. I’m pretty sure of this, because the cockroach stood up on its back legs, making the terrifyingly large bug appear even bigger, and it hissed at me. I now know that Madagascar hissing cockroaches aren’t the only species of roaches that can audibly alert you to their discontent. Next, there was a kind of showdown. The cockroach spread its wings. It seemed to be gauging my reaction to determine if I would have the courage to confront it with the shoe I had taken off of my foot for the purpose of squashing it. Sensing that I was indeed planning on making a move, the cockroach leapt into the air with a flurry of beating wings and flew straight towards my face, sending me ducking for cover. The battle ended with me grabbing a can of Raid so I could kill the roach from a distance. I would have to say the Palmetto bug won that showdown.  I now have PBTSD: Palmetto Bug Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Call Southern Pest Control so this don’t happen to you.

By: RAMP | Your Real Advertising and Marketing Partner

Keep Unwanted Christmas Pests Out

Christmas Tree Pests

Keep Unwanted Christmas Pests Out

In rare circumstances, the Christmas tree that you bought on the lot can come with holiday pests. There are a couple types of Christmas tree pests: those that actually feed on the tree and that are pests from the tree growers, and those that are just hitchhiking on the tree.

The two most common grower pests are spruce spider mites and aphids. The white pine aphid is a black insect that can be found on pine trees. These grower pests are usually killed by treatment before the trees are cut for sale. Growers say that only about one in 100,000 cut trees are accidentally shipped with pests. If you cut your own tree or greens, you’re much more likely to be bringing home some harmless Christmas tree pests.

Christmas Trees Can Hide Hitchhikers

The second group of pests is those that have crawled into the tree looking for shelter. These include spiders, sowbugs, ants, and beetles. These pests may have been hiding in the tree when cut or may have moved in during transport, storage on the lot, or even while the tree sat in your yard for a couple of days. A evergreen tree provides winter shelter for all kinds of pests. Once the tree is moved indoors, the insects become active again. Sometimes a praying mantis will lay an egg case on a branch. It looks like a beige chunk of Styrofoam. Simply cut it out and dispose of it.

This makes it sound like all Christmas trees are infested with pests.  Most of the time, the tree won’t have any pests. None of the Christmas tree pests can cause any damage to your home, they don’t bite or sting, they are simply nuisance pests. Remove the pests by hand or vacuum up those that have left the tree. They won’t reproduce in your home either since most will die quickly once they are in a drier indoor environment.

Inspect Before You Buy or Cut Your Tree

Look for aphids or other small insects along the branches ,where the branches meet the trunk. Look for spider webs and look at the bottom of the branches, too. Look for powder-like sawdust and tiny holes on the trunk that are an indication of bark beetles. Bring a flashlight if you’re shopping at night.

When You Get the Tree Home

Before you bring your tree inside, shake the tree and pound the base of the trunk on the ground to remove any insects or spiders. Cut out any egg cases. Remove dead needles and debris. You can even hose down the tree if temperatures are above freezing.

By: RAMP | Your Real Advertising and Marketing Partner