CLOVER MITES – PEST CONTROL

clover mites

Clover mites often become pests indoors after heavy rain, excessive heat or a change in the season, which stimulate massive numbers to enter buildings. The mites appear as tiny moving dark spots to the naked eye, crawling around walls, windows and doors. Crushing the mites to kill them leaves a reddish spot. Fortunately, the mites do not reproduce indoors and will die within a few days from dehydration.

FAVORITE ABODES

Clover mites can be especially abundant in heavily fertilized lawns, but have many hosts plants including many different lawn grasses, ornamental flowers, clover, dandelion, shepherd’s purse, strawberry, daffodil, salvia, alyssum, and primrose, to name only a few.

MANAGEMENT

Prevention is the most effective way to control populations of clover mites. To prevent them, the best way is to remove all lush vegetation from the house in an 18-to-24-inch band around the foundation perimeter and sides of buildings. This plant-free zone will discourage mites from movement into building and also provides an easily treatable area. Treating and sealing cracks and holes on buildings in which mites may have crawled can also be very helpful in reducing the problem.

Large populations can also be reduced by providing supplemental watering to areas where clover mites develop, such as dry areas at the base of sun-exposed walls and around evergreens. Also, planting flowerbeds with plants that are not attractive to clover mites might be helpful, such as geranium, chrysanthemum, zinnia, marigold, salvia, rose, petunia or shrubs such as barberry, juniper and yew.

We’d like to help! Please contact us at ClearDefense Pest Control right HERE and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

SPIDERS – PEST CONTROL

spiders

Encounters between people and spiders are usually accidental and bites are a response by the spider when its web or nest (or the spider itself) is disturbed. Most spiders produce venom therefore, they could be considered “poisonous.” The venom is stored in glands that empty into the spider’s fangs or chelicerae. For the most part, spider bites are insignificant. However, just as bee and wasp stings may trigger allergic reactions in some people, the same can be true for spider bites. Young children, the elderly and hypersensitive individuals are more likely to react more strongly to a spider bite.

WHERE THEY HIDE

Web-building spiders are most likely to show up in areas where insects are abundant; e.g., woodpiles, around porch lights, windows or water sources (such as water spigots). On occasion, you will find spiders on objects or in areas that have been left undisturbed which may include sandboxes or even children’s toys. Check these items periodically for signs of spiders.

MANAGEMENT

Finding a large number of spiders indoors usually means that there is an ample supply of insects and other “spider food” in the area. Any real attempts to get rid of spiders should focus on eliminating the insects upon which spiders prey:

  1. Sanitation requires the reduction or elimination of conditions that attract insects; e.g., high moisture and ready access to food of some sort.
  2. Exclusion: Find the entry points used by both insects and spiders and seal or close these areas.
  3. Knocking down and removing webbing, or mechanically removing/killing the spiders.
  4. Vacuum the areas along baseboards, in corners and under and behind furniture.
  5. Clean bookshelves periodically.

If you’re concerned that more spiders will show up or hatch from an unseen egg sac (they probably will), then—if you know what you’re doing—you could carefully apply an insecticide along baseboards, in corners, and inside storage closets.

CRAWLSPACES

Crawlspaces are often attractive environments for spiders. Simply setting off foggers (“bug bombs”) is not likely to be effective and can be hazardous particularly if you contaminate your air-conditioning system. Crawlspace treatments are best left to pest-control professionals.

If you’re concerned, call us at ClearDefense Pest Control!

STINK BUGS – PEST CONTROL

stink bugs

STINK BUGS ARE REALLY STINKERS – The stink bug feeds on a variety of hosts in the landscape. They also attack fruit trees (ornamental or otherwise). They may inflict leaf and fruit damage by feeding with their needle-like mouthparts.

HOME INVASION

Perhaps the biggest problem for homeowners is when hordes of the little stinkers seek shelter in homes and structures, similar to the behavior of the multicolored Asian lady beetle. Stink bugs don’t harm people, but can give off a very unpleasant odor when crushed or vacuumed.

MANAGEMENT

Barrier exclusion is very important. Seal and caulk areas that may give access to the wall or house. If this is not completely successful and stink bugs are still entering your home, seal or caulk around baseboards, windowsills, and any points where you see them invading your castle. When vacuuming up the little devils, some people use a dedicated shop vac to avoid stinking up their household vacuum cleaners.

EXCLUSION CHECKLIST:

  1. Adjust or install tight-fitting sweeps or thresholds at the bottom of exterior doors.
  2. Install weather stripping around other parts of the doorframe.
  3. Seal utility openings where air conditioner pipes, phone, cable TV and other wires enter the foundation and siding. Holes can be plugged with caulk, cement, urethane foam, or copper mesh.
  4. Caulk around windows, doors, siding and fascia boards.
  5. Keep window screens in good condition and install insect screening behind attic gable vents.

Give us a call—the crew here at ClearDefense Pest Control will love to treat your property and help you control these little mobile stink bombs!

Pests – The Top 4 This Spring

pests

We may still be in winter, but you can’t go wrong with proper planning for spring. Part of that plan should include an audit of your current pest control efforts to ensure warming weather doesn’t equal free room and board for nasty pests.

While dozens of pests can be problematic during springtime, here are four pest families to be acutely aware of:

BEES

While honeybees provide mostly positive benefits to lawns and gardens, some next of kin can be dangerous to your home and health. Wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets are common in the Southern United States, often nesting in trees, gutters, and even home attics. This proves to be challenging and expensive, as nest removal / relocation can be complicated to prevent painful stings.

FLEAS

Few things cause more uneasiness than knowing your home is infested with fleas. As your cats and dogs enjoy more time in the sun, so grow their chances of picking up parasitic hitchhikers. Fleas are hard to spot due to their small size (roughly 3mm) and can cause widespread havoc if they’re given the opportunity to breed indoors. Female fleas can lay up to 5,000 eggs during their lifespan, which is only a few months.

ANTS

Having an ant problem is no picnic. There are an estimated 22,000 species of ants in the world, of which a few (namely fire ants and carpenter ants) are particularly problematic for the Southeastern United States. Ants a hearty and resilient — queens can live up to 30 years or more, and worker ants can live a few years to boot. Fighting an ant infestation requires proper perimeter protection as well as thorough detection and treatment of problem spots and ant mounds.

SPIDERS

As the winter cold starts melting away, spiders will stretch their eight hairy legs and mobilize to find places to hunt and nest. Problem spots include cluttered areas, damp indoor spots, and dark corners. North America is home to 3,000+ spider species, a few of which are particularly venomous. Just clearing cobwebs won’t do the trick!

Want to ensure your home is ready and protected for spring? Contact ClearDefense Pest Control HERE for a free consultation.

Pest Control – When Does the Season Begin?

pest control

Though pests come and go with varying frequency throughout the year, there is no such thing as a “season” for pest control. Pests, like cockroaches, are ever-present; lurking, waiting for an opportunity to build a home on your property.

Wintertime brings about an influx in rodent activity indoors simply because mice and rats favor the warmth and safety of a cozy house over brutal cod. Depending on region, you’ll likely also see more stinkbugs, ladybugs, and select other critters.

As Mother Nature begins to thaw, ant populations will begin stirring. With blooming flowers come bees, wasps, and spiders. You’ll also see an influx in flies and mosquitos, particularly if you live in damp areas or near a body of water. Any and all of the above can result in major problems (including potential health risks) if left untreated.

One important takeaway is to remember is that pest control is a year-round exercise. Proper prevention for springtime pests needs to begin in the winter unless you want to deal with a potential infestation when temperatures rise. Further, you can’t forget to continue home maintenance to ensure proper wintertime pest control.

It can be a juggling act if you’re not careful, as each season brings about its own challenges and requirements. While you won’t be constantly monitoring for cobwebs in the dead of winter, you’ll need to actively maintain your home and clear clutter to ensure spiders won’t have an easy transition inside as spring rolls about. The same holds true for rodents in that winter stowaways will become more active in search for food, and therefore more apt to scurry around.

To ensure you’re ready for all seasons, it’s recommended to have routine preventative maintenance on your home:

  1. filling gaps
  2. fixing cracks
  3. sealing leaks
  4. clearing clutter

For active prevention, we also recommend an ongoing pest control arrangement with a professional team like ClearDefense Pest Control. This will include regular inspections, monitoring, and assistance should a pest issue arise.

Contact ClearDefense Pest Control HERE today for a free consultation to discuss your home or office needs. It’s never too late to consider a pest control solution!

Pest Control Resolutions for the New Year

pest control resolutions

PEST CONTROL RESOLUTIONS – At ClearDefense Pest Control, we invite you to join us in a New Year’s pledge to prevent pests from invading your home or office. The pledge is simple and straightforward, and might help save your home from unwanted guests.

This year …

I promise to keep my yard clean and protect my perimeter

It’s an acquired taste to enjoy mowing the lawn, clearing brush, and trimming overgrowth. The reality though, is that a clean yard minimizes chances of unwanted pests. A disheveled yard provides ample hiding and a safe haven for pesky critters. Keep hedges trimmed, clean up the wood pile (or rotting trees), and monitor for unsolicited activity.

I promise to check my home quarterly for cracks, loose siding, and entry gaps

Your home is only as safe as your siding. A single crack can be a welcome sign for various pests of all sizes — rodents, bugs, snakes, and more. Ensure gaps are sealed and paths to entry are minimized. Regular maintenance can mitigate long-term damage and improve property value to boot.

I promise to minimize clutter in my garage every month

When’s the last time you used those golf clubs? Do you really need to have those old tools piled in the corner? Clutter is home sweet home to spiders and other creepy-crawlies. Keep everything clean and dry with preventative maintenance and the chances of infestation reduce drastically. For extra protection, lay down bug or mouse traps in high-risk areas such as under workbenches or dimly lit areas.

I promise to stay proactive with routine inspections

While ClearDefense Pest Control offers thorough home inspections, we want you — the homeowner — to stay alert too. You don’t need a professional exterminator to check spackling or caulking, nor do you need an expert to identify a hole in the roof. Mark your calendars and take an hour out of your day to ensure your home is not susceptible to risk. If you need us, we’re happy to help!

I promise to ask for help if I need it

It’s not always easy to ask for help, but sometimes you must. In this case, we’re pest control specialists who alleviate infestations and keep your home and yard protected around the clock.

Want to schedule preventive maintenance? Contact us today at ClearDefense Pest Control today HERE for a quote.