5 Signs Fall Has Arrived: Pumpkins, Leaves, Stink Bugs, and Spiders

Tommy Miles - October 26, 2017

Autumn yellow leaves with pests

The fall weather brings about beautiful changes in weather and in terms of the scenery. From apple cider and hay rides to pumpkins, falling leaves and spooky costumes, autumn is filled with excitement. However, not all of what the season brings is joyous, especially considering pumpkins and leaves are breeding grounds for pests.

  1. Stink Bugs

Stink bugs, unfortunately, are a sign of the season. These pests produce a pungent odor as a defense mechanism, and they release the same foul scent when they die. Stink bugs are brown and will consume fruits and vegetables. During the fall, stink bugs are attempting to find shelter for the winter. That’s why you’ll notice these pests will be inside your home during the fall. Stink bugs tend to enter a dwelling through cracks under or behind baseboards. They’ll gain access into your home around the windows or door trim. It’s even possible they’ll find a way into your home around your exhaust fans or lights in the ceiling.

  1. Spiders

With the cooler weather coming, a wide variety of spiders are looking for a home for the winter. Spiders are looking for a place to spend the cooler months. Your home will be that place if you don’t take precaution and spray around your home and seal all cracks. Hundreds of types of spiders exist in the southeastern region of the United States. However, only two of them are dangerous to human beings–the brown recluse and the black widow. Both venous spiders are around all summer, but there are more prevalent during the fall since they’re larger by this time.

  1. Pumpkin and Squash

Squash and pumpkins look festive for the season. They make ideal decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving, but they rot and become all-you-can-eat buffets for hungry insects. Once you cut a pumpkin, you only have a short period of time before insects will start feasting on it. Beetles, slugs and snails favor pumpkins more than other bugs do. Squash bugs are dark to grayish brown in color. The back of these insects is flat. Squash bugs have orange and black stripes around their abdomens. They find plant debris to live under during the fall. They favor eating squash and pumpkin. If you leave your pumpkins uncut, they’ll last longer.

  1. Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs look like they were meant for the Halloween season with their black and orange color scheme. These bugs consume tree leaves all spring and summer. By the time fall comes, they’re looking for a home to spend the winter. They prefer homes that have more sunlight.

  1. Leaves

Piles of leaves, especially around the edges of your home, are areas insects and other pests love. They provide shelter for animals. The moisture is ideal for insects who thrive in wetness. They may also be a food source. As leaves rot, they become even more attractive to pests.

Fall is a beautiful time, but with the beauty, comes bugs. In some instances, the leaves or vegetation of the season attract them. In other cases, you’ll find they’re trying to enter your home for shelter during the cool months. To rid your home of bugs or learn more about how to prevent them, contact us at Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, Inc. by calling 866-781-4991.

 

 

10 Things About Your Home That Pests Love

Tommy Miles - October 19, 2017

Home Pests

You might think just because you keep your yard mowed that your home is free of pests. However, your home may have pests hiding where you might not see them. And habits you and your family have or aspects of your home may be contributing to the problem.

  1. Grass Clippings  
    You need to do more than just mow your grass. This does reduce your pest population, but the reminisce of yard clippings will become havens for nuisances. Insects and other pests, especially rodents, will build nests or use the clippings to hide. If you should happen to leave clippings out over the colder months, these trimmings become a warm place for animals to reside. Keep in mind, your risk of pests increases the longer you leave piles of grass in your yard. Any water within the grass hut is ideal for insects who love moisture.
  2. Clogged Gutters  
    Clogged gutters can lead to a number of household problems such as roof damage and damage to your foundation. The contents clogging the gutters provide mosquitoes and other similar pests with a paradise because of the moisture and cover it supplies. If your gutters are clogged, it reduces the amount of water that’ll drain from your roof. As the water accumulates in your gutters, it attracts mosquitoes and other wildlife. Mosquitoes, in particular, only need a one-half inch of water to breed.
  3. Wood Piles  
    Wood creates a hotel for critters, especially if you have a huge pile of logs. Animals will hide underneath the logs while termites will consume the wood. The creatures will leave the infested wood pile and make their way to your home.
  4. Clutter 
    Your home doesn’t have to be filthy to attract bugs and rodents. You don’t have to have food lying around, either. Both rodents and insects are attracted to piles of clutter because they can hide.
  5. Cracks Around Your Home 
    Cracks around your door and windows are prime areas for insects to enter. The cracks don’t have to be huge for a mouse to enter, either. You should seal around your doors and windows to keep out pests. You should evaluate the foundation and walls for cracks where animals can enter. Examine utility lines, plumbing and appliance vents for cracks. Sealing your home helps you save energy while it protects your home from invaders.
  6. Plumbing 
    Leaking pipes cause water to build up on the surface around and on where the leak is. Dripping faucets do the same. Any plumbing that’s not working right contributes to mosquitoes and other animals because the moisture is where certain creatures thrive.
  7. Outdoor Pet Dishes 
    If you have a water or food dish or both outdoors, you’re attracting bugs. They like the food and water because it meets their basic needs. The water alone causes mosquitoes.
  8. Rotted Fascia or Shingles  
    If you have shingles or a fascia that’s rotting or even ones that have any damage, you have an area prone to pests. The rotting shingles attract animals and give them a home.
  9. Siding Touching Soil 
    When soil comes into contact with your siding, it’ll rot your siding, which attracts ants and sometimes termites. All mulch and soil should be removed from around your siding, staircase or deck posts.
  10. Poor Drainage 
    Anywhere in your yard that doesn’t have adequate drainage will have puddles of water, ideal for pests. The yard needs to be landscaped, so the water flows downward without puddling in the lawn.

Pests can damage your home. You could also find these pests could make you and your family sick. You’re able to prevent or eliminate them by scheduling an appointment with Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, Inc. to protect your home or have pests removed. You can contact us at 866-781-4991.  

5 Crafty Ways To Guard Your Pumpkins Against Spooky Pests

Tommy Miles - October 12, 2017

Spooky Pests

As Halloween approaches and you being thinking about decorations, you likely face a dilemma: whether to carve real pumpkins for the holiday. On the one hand, when done right, jack-o’-lanterns and other pumpkin products create a distinct Halloween atmosphere that no other item can match. On the other, pumpkins attract insects in large numbers, and once infested, they quickly change in color while giving off a foul smell. To keep pests off your pumpkins and make the most of the next spooky holiday, try:

  1. Removing All the Guts

The first step to protecting pumpkins from pests comes when you carve them. Once you’ve opened a pumpkin up, immediately  remove all of the guts. Don’t stop with just the big pieces, but take a spoon or knife and scrape away the moist parts that stick to the inside of the pumpkin. The more guts you remove and the drier you render the inside, the less attractive the pumpkin will be to insects. Getting rid of moisture also makes it more difficult for bacteria to take root and cause the gourd to rot.

  1. Placing Pumpkins Strategically

The simplest way to keep pests off your pumpkins is to set them up in a location that is sheltered from the wind. This will stop insects that are flying with the wind from finding your decorations, reducing the chance that an infestation will take root in the first place. You should also use a cover to further shelter your pumpkins, so that a sudden change in the wind does not leave them exposed.

  1. Layering with Cardboard

As you mount your pumpkins, consider putting a layer of cardboard underneath them. This will make it easier to see bugs that are trying to attack them. Whenever you see a bug on or near the cardboard, pluck it or shake it off and into a bucket filled with soap and water.

  1. Spraying with Water

To get rid of pests in tight places, fill a spritzer bottle up with simple tap water and spray your pumpkins each day with a heavy current. This will wash away the bugs that you would not have been able to see or reach otherwise.

  1. Periodic Pumpkin Cleaning

The longer you intend to leave the pumpkin up, the more likely it is that simply keeping bugs off the outside will not be enough. As bacteria begin to grow on the inside, they will attract fruit flies, speeding the decay process. To get rid of this bacteria and hold off the fruit fly hordes, mix a gallon of water with a teaspoon of bleach and use it to spray the inside. Then turn it upside down so the bleach solution drains out, keeping the interior dry and the pumpkin in good condition.

Don’t leave your pumpkins vulnerable to pests. For more information on getting rid of insects and all other threats, contact Clark’s Termite & Pest Control today.

3 Myths about Hibernation

Tommy Miles - October 5, 2017

Hibernating Rodent

Dispelling myths about common household pests and their hibernation habits can help you prepare for all seasons. Clark’s Termite and Pest Control is here to help you deal with your bug problems in every season. Dispelling these three myths will give you the knowledge you need to help you keep your home free of bugs throughout the long, cold winter ahead.

1) You Don’t Need Pest Control in Winter

Many insects do hibernate for winter. But, not all of them do. Some of them will come into your home seeking warmth and shelter. Roaches, for instance, love the warm attic spaces in your home and will venture into the living spaces in search of food during the leaner winter months.

Other bugs that tend to move in during winter months include lady bags and stink bugs – each of which presents unique problems when it comes to ridding your home of them and is best left to the experts to remove.

2) Termites Flee the Winter Cold

This isn’t always the case. In fact, termites spend their winters below the ground when it is exceptionally cold. But, milder winters may offer no safe refuge for your home. Termites view your home as an “all you can eat” buffet of deliciousness.

They will eat and eat and eat all winter long if the weather is mild, only going underground for the coldest of winter days. Even worse is that they build huge colonies of termites who do not sleep. They only eat.

3) Common Household Pests Hibernate During the Winter

You’ll be amazed by the number of pests that move in to warmer homes for winter instead of hibernating. You’ve already heard about roaches. Mice are another common wintertime nuisance for South Carolina home owners.

Mice cannot hibernate so they are active year-round. Not only do they scurry about searching for food and water, but they also damage your home with constant chewing and nest-building.

Protecting Your Home from Pests in Winter

Pests invading your home bring no small degree of ick factor into the picture. They can also bring bacteria, germs, and diseases into your home. Getting rid of them is a priority, but preventing them is even better.

Prevention is always the best cure when it comes to pest control. Now, before winter, is the best time to act. Secure your home against invasion from several common household pests as the weather turns colder. This means you want to seal up common points of entry on your home’s exterior.

Also, contact Clark’s Termite and Pest Control at 866-781-4991 to conduct a thorough evaluation of your property and to treat your home for winter. We can make your home an inhospitable and unwelcoming place for most household pests so you can enjoy a nice cozy winter free of unwanted bugs, rodents, and insects.