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CLARK'S BLOG

Can’t Stop Sneezing? You Might Be Allergic To Pest Allergens  

Splash Media - February 22, 2018

Remove pest allergens

Most people associate annoying allergies and symptoms of asthma with warmer weather and outdoor activities. But the fact is you don’t have to step out into the great outdoors to suffer from these common maladies. The allergens generated by a variety of household pests are more than enough to ensure that you can be miserable right in the comfort of your own home.

The Dangers Of Pest Allergens

The National Pest Management Association annually provides a helpful reminder of the risks associated with pest allergens and how you can combat them. Rodents such as mice and rats, dust mites, cockroaches, and other pests are the source of these allergens and can trigger a number of reactions. According to Dr. Jorge Parada, an advisor for the NPMA, “Common pest allergy and asthma symptoms include itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness or pressure, similar to symptoms experienced from seasonal allergies and plant pollens. While most people associate allergy and asthma with being outside in the spring or summer, these symptoms can be triggered indoors all year long. It’s important to identify and reduce exposure to specific triggers both inside and outside of the home. Why not start with adding pest-proofing your home to your spring cleaning list?”

That’s a great idea, and the NPMA offers some easy ways to do just that.

Keeping Your Home Pest Allergen Free

  • Seal up your house. The best way to keep allergens out is to keep out the pests that bring them in. Use an appropriate caulk or other product to seal up gaps and cracks in walls, floors, and around windows to deny pests access. It’s also a good idea to use a garbage can with a sealed lid.
  • Vacuum often. Vacuum your carpets at least weekly, optimally more. Clean hard floor surfaces regularly with a damp cloth, or even better with a disinfectant cleaning solution.
  • Dust every day. Even it it’s just a quick cleaning. Wipe down furniture and counter surfaces once a day.
  • Control humidity levels. Attics, crawl spaces, and basements should be adequately ventilated, and humidity levels maintained at approximately 50%.
  • Protect your mattresses and pillows. Special allergen proof cases and covers are available to keep mites out of your bedding, and you should be using them. They’re inexpensive and easy to find.

If you have a pest problem, especially if you have asthma or allergies. It’s time to call in the professionals. In South Carolina, that’s Clark’s Termite & Pest ControlContact them today for a free estimate.

3 Surprising Facts About Store Bought Pest Control Products  

Splash Media - February 8, 2018

Man spraying store bought pest control

Unless you live in a plastic bubble, it’s almost a mathematical certainty that you’ll experience some type of pest problem during your lifetime. Probably more than once. And when a pest infestation happens, the first reaction most homeowners have, besides being horrified, is that they’ll take care of the problem on their own. 

Professional Pest Control or DIY?

While it’s certainly possible for an individual to eradicate an infestation themselves, there are some unavoidable truths that work against providing a permanent solution to the problem. The first is that they simply don’t have the know-how to handle specific situations. Professional pest control services have the training and experience to recognize the characteristics of different types of infestations and apply the most effective remedy.

The other is that, while there are some fine retail products available on the market, they often don’t work for a variety of reasons. They can also be dangerous to the health of family and pets. Here are some things to consider about off-the-shelf products.

3 Facts About Store Bought Pest Control Products

  • They’re often ineffective. Even though a store bought product may be a well-known brand, retail products can rarely provide a comprehensive solution. The label may say it kills a variety of pests, but what’s effective on one type of spider, for instance, may not work on another. Also, some types of insects have to be attacked at certain points in their life cycle. Using a pest control product at the wrong time simply won’t work. There’s also the fact that some pests have to be treated inside the structural components where they live, like walls and floors. Doing this usually requires special equipment and knowledge.
  • They can be unhealthy. Although pest control products are stringently tested and provide clear warning labels, they can still cause serious respiratory inflammation and skin irritation in humans and pets if not used correctly. And even when used correctly, sensitive individuals can still be at risk. Unfortunately, too many people don’t bother reading the label before using potentially dangerous pest control products.
  • The can damage your home

    Many of the chemicals used in pest control products can cause permanent staining and discoloration on fabrics, furniture, and walls. Professionally-trained technicians will know when and where to safely apply treatments to avoid accidental damage inside the home.

Why not solve your pest problems completely and permanently the first time? Clark’s Termite & Pest Control has been serving the residents of South Carolina since 1963. Contact them today for a free estimate.

4 Icky Critters Lurking In Your Firewood  

Splash Media - January 25, 2018

firewood pests

As winter approaches and cool weather sets in, there’s no better way to keep your home warm and comfortable than by lighting up your fireplace. Wood fires bring an old-fashioned charm that modern heating can’t match, not to mention a pleasant, smoky smell that fills the house. But they also require bringing wood into your house. Depending on where you got it, firewood can harbor some unpleasant and unsanitary bugs. By taking it inside, you risk carrying these firewood pests into your home. Thus the next time you’re gathering wood, watch out for:

Powderpost Beetles

The most common type of insect to appear in firewood. Powederpost beetles lay eggs in the wood; the larvae then hatch and tunnel their way out, leaving small holes and a cover of dust. Powderpost beetles tend not to be a threat to wood floors and walls, provided that you varnish and sand those surfaces regularly. But they can infest your furniture, so avoid storing firewood anywhere near furnishings that contain significant amounts of wood.

Wood Cockroaches

This is a dark brown cockroach that is common along much of the East Coast. These insects take shelter in wood and will spread through your home if you bring that wood inside. Luckily, they are relatively easy to deal with. Simply keep an eye on the wood and swat any that emerge before they have a chance to get into your things. Even if you miss a few, they won’t be able to last long indoors. So there’s little risk of them multiplying and infesting your home for the long haul.

Carpenter Ants

Among the most serious firewood pests you can bring into your home, carpenter ants burrow into wood to make their nests. Once inside, they can easily spread from firewood into wooden walls and floors, tunneling into it and causing serious structural damage. They can only survive in wood that has significant amounts of moisture in it. So you can minimize the risk of an infestation by only bringing wood inside if it is completely dry. You should also keep standing water and moist objects away from the wood once it is indoors.

Termites

Like carpenter ants, termites tunnel into the wood in your home, creating structural issues. And as with the ants, you can keep the risk to a minimum by only bringing dry wood inside and keeping it separate from moisture sources. Termite control also requires being careful about how you store wood outside. Avoid stacking firewood against the side of your house, as this will attract termites.

For more information on insect control for firewood and all other activities, contact Clark Pest Control today.

Where Do Pests Go In The Winter? Hint: It’s Not As Far As You’d Like  

Splash Media - January 11, 2018

Winter Pests

With fall fading into winter and temperatures on their way down, you might assume that you’ll get a break from winter pest control. It’s during summer and spring, after all, that bugs have the heat and moisture to come out in full force, so it makes sense to think of winter as a reprieve.

While it is true that insects must take shelter from the cold, that doesn’t mean you’ll be free of them. It all depends on where they seek that shelter. Odds are, it’s not as far away as you think. As winter approaches, look out for pests in your:

Home

The worst possible place where pests could go is also one of their prime targets. Not only is your home warm, but it contains ample moisture and food. Combined with the fact that it provides cover from harsh weather, your house is vulnerable to:

  • Ants– Ants come into your house in search of food and then stay for the warmth and shelter. Some varieties of ants, such as carpenter ants, can also infest firewood. You’ll bring them in when you carry that wood indoors. These insects are always a health issue, and carpenter ants specifically threaten the structure of your house.
  • Cockroaches– As an insect that is suited for tropical environments, cockroaches are especially attracted to the heat of your house. They share with carpenter ants a tendency to seek shelter in wood, so more of them may end up in your home if you bring firewood inside.
  • Cluster Flies– A type of fly that seeks tight, remote spaces, this insect is hard to remove from your house once it is established. You’ll likely find them hovering around the windows of rooms you rarely use.

Besides insect pests, winter weather can send mice and rats into your house. These rodents are a serious health and comfort risk in themselves. They often bring fleas and other insects into your house, making bug problems worse.

Wood Piles

In addition to entering your house, insects and other pests can find shelter by burrowing into piles of wood. Carpenter ants and termites are particularly likely to do this, as they are suited specifically for life in wood. Cockroaches, moths, and flies also sometimes see wood piles as suitable places to lay their eggs.

Even if you never bring wood directly into your house, it can still harm your home and your quality of life. If you pile wood next to your house, for example, termites and carpenter ants will have an easy time spreading from such piles into the building. Thus if you need to store large piles of wood, make sure to place them somewhere as far from your home as possible.

Clark Pest Control is committed to eliminating every variety of pest in South Carolina. For more information on keeping your home pest-free during the winter and throughout the year, visit our website today.

5 Ways to Keep Rodents and Wildlife Away This Winter

Splash Media - December 21, 2017

Rodents-Away

Winter is a tough time for wildlife and rodents. When their food supply dwindles drastically, they seek warm places to take shelter while they wait out the cold spells. Unfortunately, your home can offer them a solution to both if you don’t take steps to prevent them from becoming unwanted long-term residents in your house. The following are a few ways to let wildlife and rodents know they are not welcome in your home.

Tips on Keeping Rodents and Wildlife from Invading your Home

  • Check for holes on the outside of your house: Leave the lights on inside and see if you see light coming from any holes in the exterior. Also check for drafts coming from the inside. Both will be clues that you have entry points for small guests to come inside your home.
  • Cut back plants near the house: Rodents like to hide behind plants, wood piles, and piles of junk that you may have close to your house. They are trying to stay warm and simply waiting for an opportunity to enter your house at the first available chance when someone forgets to close the door or they can find that secret hole that leads into the house. Also trim trees that have limbs close to the house. Animals will use the limbs to climb onto the roof and enter through a chimney to get in. Cut any ivy or other climbing plants back from your house before animals use it as a ladder to gain entrance to your house.
  • Seal off windows and doors: If you think you might have your doors or windows for any period of time, make sure to place a screen to keep pests out. Seal any cracks with inexpensive caulking or foam. Check the weather-stripping to make sure it is still in good condition.
  • Cover vents with screens: If you have any open vents on the inside of the home, such as vents in the kitchen area, cover them with screens. That way you can still allow air to flow through, but prevent small critters from coming out to play when you are not looking.
  • Don’t leave food out: Rodents and other wildlife have a keen sense of smell for food. Be sure to clean up at the end of the day, putting any extra food in containers or in the refrigerator. Wipe down your counters, sweep your floors, and do your dishes. Be sure to either have a tight-fitting lid for your trash inside the house or take your trash out at the end of the day.

If you suspect that the wildlife around you are trying to gain entrance to your home, or might have already, it might be time to call an expert on pest removal. Or if you simply want to assess your home and make it more pest-proof, why not call the friendly experts at Clark’s Pest Control of South Carolina? Like you, we won’t be satisfied until the pests are gone.

8 Ways to Prevent Creepy-Crawlers In Your Christmas Tree

Splash Media - December 7, 2017

Christmas-Tree-Critter

Cutting down and buying your own Christmas tree is a cherished and honored event for many families. However, there are lots of critters that may be living in the Christmas tree that you could inadvertently bring home with you. Also, a natural Christmas tree in your house could attract a host of other pests. Don’t let a few little animals ruin the holiday fun. A few simple tricks can keep the animals at bay while you can enjoy Christmas with your loved one and without unwanted guests.

Tips for Keeping Bugs and Other Animals Away from the Christmas Tree

  • Look inside and under the tree: Before you bring the Christmas tree inside your home, look underneath branches and inside them. Remove any nests or animals that you might find. Nests can store various parasites from birds including lice and mites.
  • Use a mechanical tree shaker: Many Christmas tree lots offer a free shaking down of the tree that you picked out. Not only is this helpful for removing little bugs and other animals, it also shakes out extra needles, so you have less of a mess when you set up your tree.
  • Avoid bug spray: When faced with an infestation it might be ever so tempting to grab the nearest bug spray. However, most bug sprays are highly flammable. Between all the candles, Christmas lights, and wood place fires, bug spray could be very dangerous and create some real Christmastime trouble.
  • Apply diatomaceous earth to the tree: Sprinkle diatomaceous powder over the tree to kill any remaining bugs. You might let the Christmas tree sit in your garage for a few days to  let the diatomaceous earth do its magic. At the end of the three-day period, bring it inside and set it up.
  • Grab the vacuumVacuum the trunk for any bugs that you see. Lay a white blanket down underneath the tree. That way if any bugs escape, you will be able to see them and vacuum them up. As soon as you are done, remove the vacuum dust bag and set it in the outside trash can so that the bugs cannot make their way inside again.
  • Turn up the heat: Bugs that come in from the outside are used to the cold conditions. They will flee your house if the thermostat is turned up. Your house will also be a lot more comfortable too.
  • Hang candy and other edible goodies on the tree the night before Christmas: Sweet treats are just as appealing to mice and rats as they are to humans. By minimizing the amount of time these goodies are hanging on the tree, the less likely they are to attract pests and the problems they bring with them.
  • Inspect the tree occasionally: Check the tree every so often for signs of animal life. Suspicious clues are animal droppings, wet spots on or around the tree, unpleasant odors, and changes in the texture or color of the leaves.

If pests are a concern for you this holiday season, call the pest control experts at Clark’s Pest Control. We’re experts at keeping unwanted animal guests of your house all year round.

Five Tips for a Pest-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Splash Media - November 23, 2017

Pest-Free Thanksgiving

Imagine this scenario. You’re having a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with your family and friends and seemingly out of nowhere, an unwanted guest makes their presence known. No, we’re not talking about a disinherited relative—we’re talking about outdoor pests such as rodents, roaches, spiders, ants, lady beetles and boxelder bugs. These critters often seek shelter indoors during the fall and can throw your dinner party guests for a loop. To avoid this embarrassing scenario, our experts at Clark’s Termite & Pest Control make the following preventive recommendations for a pest-free holiday meal.

1. Perform Seasonal Home Checks for Access Points

Do a perimeter check of your home to inspect for any cracks or holes in your roofing or foundation. Check for any gaps around doors and windows. These are common access points for small animals, insects and rodents seeking shelter, so you’ll want to repair any damage you discover before the holiday season arrives.

2. Remove Lawn Debris and Trim Back Trees Near the Home

Pests often take respite in damp, dark areas such as stacks of wood and piles of leaves. Remove landscaping debris regularly to prevent unwanted visitors from hanging out near the home. Trimming back certain types of trees can reduce the number of pests such as boxelder bugs that are notorious for making a fall entrance into homes in large numbers. You can also prevent the entry of raccoons and squirrels who use branches near the home to get inside the attic.

3. Secure Outdoor Containers

Garbage bins, compost piles and recycling containers can attract unwanted pests looking for shelter and/or food. Secure such containers with lids and latches and place them away from the house if possible. After all, if you’re feeding the critters outdoors, they might be more interested in seeing what goodies you have indoors.

4. Keep a Tidy Home

Perform seasonal cleanings in more than just spring. Get down and dirty in corners, pantries, cabinets and other areas that are often neglected during daily cleanings. Keeping a clean kitchen is a powerful defense against attracting pests indoors. If you have carpet or upholstered furnishings, regular vacuuming can help eliminate small insects and remove any legs they may have laid during their stay.

5. Regular Professional Pest Inspections

The best prevention against pest home invasions is to have a pest control specialist come out periodically and inspect your home for any signs of infestations. These experts can also help detect any potential access points and make recommendations as needed. Even if there are no signs of pests currently, pest control professionals can offer preventive measures to ensure there’s no pests crashing your Thanksgiving dinner plans.

Pest Control Prevention and Eradication Services

If you want to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner is free of unwanted pests, contact Clark’s Termite & Pest Control today to schedule a consultation with one of our pest control professionals.

3 Reasons Not to Go Easy On Termites This Winter

Splash Media - November 9, 2017

Termite Damage

Termites cause an extensive amount of damage to your home. Having an infestation could mean you have to spend a great deal of money to repair the structural damage from the destruction of these insects. Don’t think because the season is changing that you can ease up on your efforts to prevent termites and that you won’t get them in your home over the colder months.

Termite Weather Preference

Termites do prefer the warmer weather, but they’re active during the entire winter season as well. If you let them go during the chillier months, you’ll notice they’ll continue to breed, and by the time it warms up again, you could find yourself not being able to enjoy it due to the overwhelming amount of termites you have.

During the winter, subterranean termite colonies tend to move deeper into the ground in cooler climates, but because the South Carolina region doesn’t usually see frigid temperatures, the termites don’t have to move very deep into the ground for warmth throughout the winter. Generally, you won’t notice termites being as active during the warmer months, though. Usually, you won’t find swarms of termites around your home because the cold weather will deter them. Termites, however, will continue to thrive as long as they have access to a food source. And if they decide your home is an excellent food source, you’ll be harboring these critters in your home throughout the entire winter.

Seasonal Changes in Your Home

If you have termites in your home already and aren’t aware of it, the termite activity won’t change much due to conditions outside. Heated buildings remain as an ideal location for termites. Queen termites continuously lay eggs all year round, sometimes even at a consistent rate depending on the breed and location of the termites. Additionally, the termites located close to your home in the soil will continue to thrive because of the warmth from your home. You can find both subterranean and drywood termites in your home during the winter because these insects will feast on the foundation and walls in your home since these areas won’t be affected much by the cold weather outside.

Winter Termite Control and Removal

We advise everyone to always look for signs of wood damage, no matter the season. Early detection has the ability to lead to a better prognosis, meaning it’s easier to remove the insects from your home if you discover the problem sooner. Even during the winter months, we advise you to contact us immediately to schedule an inspection for termites. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection of your home. During our inspection, if we determine you have termites, we’ll actively start the treatment process in order to kill the termites.

Just because winter is approaching, don’t give up on your efforts to prevent termites from entering your home. Contact Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, serving South Carolina and the surrounding area, by calling 866-781-4991 to schedule an inspection and the treatment process if necessary. We can also help you take preventative measures.

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

Splash Media - 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

Splash Media - 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

Splash Media - 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

Splash Media - 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.

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

Splash Media - September 29, 2017

Termite and Pest Control Service in South Carolina and Charlotte, North CarolinaThe 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. Here are five tell-tale signs that fall has arrived.

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 attempt to find shelter for the winter. That’s why you’ll notice these pests more inside your home or office during the fall. Stink bugs tend to enter your home or office through cracks under or behind baseboards or around the windows or door trim. It’s even possible they’ll find a way into your home around your exhaust fans or ceiling lights.

2. Spiders

With cooler weather coming, a wide variety of spiders are looking for a home for the winter. Your home will be that place if you don’t take the necessary precautions to spray in hotspot areas and seal all cracks.

3. Pumpkins 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. If you leave your pumpkins uncut, they’ll last longer. 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, have a flat back, and have orange and black stripes around their abdomens. They find plant debris to live under during the fall and love to feast on your squash and pumpkin decorations

4. 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 and prefer homes that offer more sunlight.

5. Leaves

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

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. today.

10 Things About Your Home That Pests Love 

Splash Media - September 14, 2017

Local home pest control serviceYou 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. Here are some habits you and your family may have or aspects of your home that could be contributing to the problem.

1. Grass Clippings

Although mowing your grass may help to reduce your pest problem, unfortunately any leftover yard clippings will become havens for pests and other nuisances. Insects and other pests, especially rodents, will build nests or use the clippings to hide. If you should happen to leave grass clippings out during 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.

2. Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to a number of household problems such as roof damage and damage to your foundation. But did you know that the contents clogging the gutters provide mosquitoes and other pests with a paradise because of the moisture and cover it supplies? If your gutters are clogged, it reduces the amount of water that can 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. Small animals can hide underneath logs, while termites may move in to consume the wood.

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. Insects are often attracted to piles of clutter because it provides them a place where they can hide.

5. Cracks Around Your Home

Cracks around your doors and windows are prime areas for insects and small rodents to enter. Make sure you seal areas around doors and windows to help keep out pests. You should also evaluate the foundation and walls for cracks where animals could potentially enter. Additionally, take the time to examine utility lines, plumbing and appliance vents for cracks. Sealing your home helps you save energy while also helping to protect your home from invaders.

6. Plumbing

Leaking pipes and dripping faucets can cause water buildup. Any plumbing that is not working correctly can contribute to mosquitoes and other pests making their way into your home because the moisture is where certain creatures thrive.

7. Outdoor Pet Dishes

If you have a water or food dish for your pet outdoors, even if they are under a covered area, they are probably attracting bugs. Pests often flock to open food and water sources.

8. Rotted Fascia or Shingles

If you have shingles or a fascia that have damage or are even rotting, you have an area that could be prone to pests.

9. Poor Drainage

Anywhere in your yard that doesn’t have adequate drainage will have puddles of water, ideal for pests. Your yard should be landscaped so that water flows downward without puddling.

10. Dirty Dishes

Last, but certainly no least, dirty dishes left in the sink are a place where pests flock to. This is also something that many homeowners struggle to keep under control. The moisture combined with leftover food particles, no matter how small they may be, offers an easy food and water source to pests of all kinds. Make sure to keep your sink dish-free and as clean as possible.

To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at Clark’s Pest Control today!

4 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Termites  

Splash Media - August 15, 2017

Termites are a common pest problem in the United States that cause extensive damage to your home if left unchecked. But common sense and learning simple facts about them makes a big difference in saving your home from hefty repairs down the road. Today, we’ll share with you four facts about termites that you might haven’t thought of before but are essential to know for homeowners.

Fact #1: Termites and Ants Can Look Alike

Ants and termites have a head, thorax, and abdomen body sections. Both species are social insects that live in colonies, and they both can develop wings. But if you see a winged insect around your home, it’s not necessarily a termite. A termite’s body is light-colored, soft, and has a wider thorax. An ant’s body, however, is darker, harder, and has a thinner thorax. You can always have a professional pest control company help you identify the insect if you’re not sure.

Fact #2: Termites are ‘Beneficial’ Pests…But Not in Your Home

While the abundance of cockroaches and mosquitos seem to have little service to the ecosystem besides being annoying, termites are actually beneficial. They have the remarkable ability to convert wood back into the fertile soil that grows crops and countless other plants. Unfortunately, they see little difference between wood in the wild and the wood in your home. That’s why they’re considered as one of the major pest problems homeowners should look out for.

Fact #3: Termites Don’t Bite Humans

If you’ve ever heard of rumors that termites bite humans, that’s nothing but a bunch of bologna. Termites have no interest in biting humans whatsoever, as wood is the primary food and host that their colonies need to survive. Termites are equipped to eat wood and attack other insects, but not people.

Fact #4: Termite Damage Starts Small

Rooms falling apart, wooden beams disappearing, and other pictures of massive structural damage are easy to associate with termites thanks to depictions from cartoons and the media. Fortunately, there are a number of early warning signs you can detect before the problem ever gets to that level. If you spot piles of wings or mud tubes inside or near your home, that means a termite swarm has landed and the infestation has begun. If you see chipped paint, holes, and hollowed out mazes in wood, you’ll need to get a professional as soon as possible.

While termites are remarkable social insects in the wild, they can cause extensive damage to your home and should be addressed. But with proactive measures and regular inspections, homeowners can save their home from becoming a termite colony’s next meal. Since termite damage is more extensive to your home than flood or fire damage combined, it’s sensible to implement inspections. To find out more about termite inspections and prevention, contact Clark’s Termite and Pest Control today. We can help protect your home from both the visible and unseen dangers lurking in your home.