When the flowers bloom and temperatures rise, ants often march indoors in search of a consistent food and water supply, making pest-proofing the home an important spring task.
Our kitchens are particularly vulnerable to a nasty infestation. Not only are ants attracted to the crumbs and spills we leave behind, but they are also drawn to the moisture that sinks provide. Keep that kitchen clean!
We recommend implementing these tips to keep those pesky ants at bay:
- Seal cracks and crevices around your home using a silicone-based caulk.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Ensure downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from your home’s foundation.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed away from the home.
- Wipe down counter tops and sweep floors regularly to remove crumbs and residue from spills.
- Store food in sealed containers and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
- Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes.
- Dispose of garbage on a regular basis.
- Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly.
- Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in.
Some brave homeowners attempt to address an ant problem on their own, but eliminating ants can be a challenge, so if ants are invading your home, please click HERE, we can help!
An interesting tidbit: Ants communicate with each other mainly by releasing chemicals called pheromones. Each scent indicates different signals, such as warning, danger, attack, etc. Ants detect released pheromones through their antennae. For instance, if an ant finds a piece of candy laying on top of your kitchen counter, it will leave a pheromone trail to the candy so other ants can find it and then it’s Katy bar the door! For some more interesting facts about our neighbors, the ants, click HERE.
As the warm weather rolls in, many homeowners will find themselves dealing with unpleasant springtime allergy symptoms such as runny noses and itchy eyes. What remains a little known fact is that pests like cockroaches, dust mites and rodents can be behind those springtime allergy symptoms. The tips listed below can help you and your family to keep from sneezing your way through spring.
Most aren’t aware that over 20-million people are allergic to a tiny, microscopic pest called a dust mite or that dander from rodents and shed skins from cockroaches can exacerbate symptoms. Fortunately, pest-proofing your home to reduce exposure to allergens can be done in a few simple steps and will help control your springtime allergy symptoms.
Here area few best practices to keep out spring pests known to cause springtime allergy symptoms:
- Seal cracks and crevices around the home with caulk, steel wool, or both, paying attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the structure.
- Keep basements and attics clear, storing boxes off of the floor.
- Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
- Wash blankets, throw rugs and bedding in hot water, preferably at 130-degrees F, or take them to be dry-cleaned.
- Vacuum and dust frequently.
- Maintain a clean kitchen, free of crumbs and spills.
- Keep pet food sealed in a tight container and wash food bowls.
Springtime allergy symptoms are not a lot of fun. The above tips are just a few ways to help prevent pest allergens and reduce your springtime allergy symptoms. It’s also important to understand that properly removing allergy-inducing pests is the best way to help keep any issues from arising in the future. If you find yourself dealing with a pest infestation in your home, please contact us HERE. We can help!
Click HERE for more information from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) concerning allergies and pests.
Many people may connect the mosquito season to the irksomely itchy welts that accompany mosquito bites. But, there are far worse associations to make with these blood-sucking pests, such as the health threats they pose to you and your family.
There are harmful diseases including the Zika, West Nile and chikungunya viruses present in the U.S. that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Your knowledge about this and general mosquito prevention is important.
Ways to avoid mosquito bites and better protect against mosquito-transmitted diseases include:
- Applying insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label. Apply repellant over top of sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
- Minimizing outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, though it is important to note that mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya are active throughout the day.
- Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
- Eliminating areas of standing water around the home including clogged gutters, birdbaths, flower pots, tires and kiddie pools or untreated pools. Mosquitoes need only half an inch of water to breed.
- Screening windows and doors, and patching torn screens.
If you are concerned about these little invaders where you live, please contact us HERE. We can help!
It’s natural in the springtime to have concerns about pests that can impact health, from mosquitoes that can carry Zika virus and West Nile virus, to ticks that can transmit Lyme disease, and more. But what about pests that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms that commonly arise this time of year? Many are surprised to learn that cockroaches could be to blame for sneezing, itchy eyes and runny noses.
Cockroaches are known to fuel allergy symptoms, especially in children, through the allergens found in their saliva and droppings. Cockroaches love warm, moist areas, so the spring is an ideal time for homeowners to take the time to cockroach-proof their homes and, in turn, help reduce potential household allergy triggers for themselves and their families.
To help prevent cockroaches from moving in, we recommend that you take note of the following cockroach prevention tips this spring:
- Keep the home – especially the kitchen and bathrooms – free of crumbs and debris.
- Disinfect counters and food surfaces.
- Do not let dirty dishes pile up in the sink – the food leftovers attract cockroaches looking to feed.
- Take out trash frequently, and store it in a sealed receptacle.
- Transfer open boxed food items from cardboard into sturdy, sealed containers.
- Keep pet food in a sealed container and wash pet bowls frequently.
- Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Dust hard surfaces frequently with a dust rag or damp cloth.
- Maintain the humidity level in the house at about 50 percent by properly ventilating basements and crawl spaces. Consider running a dehumidifier in these areas to prevent moisture buildup.
Be sure to keep homes as clean as possible since cockroaches love filthy environments, but if they do find their way into your home, contact us HERE. We can help!