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CLARK'S BLOG

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.

4 Tips to Prevent Ants in Your Kitchen

Splash Media - August 1, 2017

How to get rid of ants and roaches in your kitchenAsk any homeowner and they’ll tell you that the number one pest they don’t want to see in their home is ants. Commonly active in the spring and summer seasons, it’s remarkable how those tiny critters can be so noticeable in your home. They’ll contaminate your food and access your garbage, but with correct precautions in place, you won’t have to deal with them. Here are four tips from our experts.

  1. Remove All Possible Food Sources

Ants can appear even in the cleanest of homes if there’s traces of food. Make sure your kitchen countertops are clean and free of crumbs. Wash or thoroughly rinse dishes after dinner every night, and take the trash out regularly. A trash can with a tight lid is a good idea. Seal up any food with metal or plastic containers.

  1. Don’t Forget Water Sources, Too!

Food isn’t the only thing ants go after in homes. Check for leaking pipes, standing water, or any other places of moisture that ants may discover. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements are good rooms to inspect.

  1. Send Them Packing

Ants are social insects that communicate to each other through smell and secretions. The scouting ants will leave behind a chemical ‘trail’ for others to follow, so if you see one ant, there’s likely more nearby. Follow the trail they set to the source if possible. You can cut off their ‘path’ by spraying the areas with white vinegar or drawing lines with chalk.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Pets

The places for your pet dog or cat could turn into a hangout for pesky ants if there’s open pet food or water lying around. Even dirty empty food bowls can attract ants. Clean up any open crumbs and seal the food and water sources whenever possible. You might want to schedule set feeding times as well.

Ants can become seriously annoying and be a real downer at your ‘picnic,’ but by following precautions like these you can send them packing elsewhere for good. If you are in need of more in-depth ant infestation solutions, contact us at Clark’s Termite and Pest Control today. Whether it’s preventative measures or eliminating an infestation, we’re here to help you defend your home from these pesky invaders.

Two of the Most Terrifying Spiders Found in the Carolinas  

Splash Media - July 15, 2017

We get rid of bugs, pests, insects in your homeArachnophobia is the all-encompassing fear of spiders. If you are like most people, you have at least a touch of this phobia. While you might not have an irrational fear like those who suffer from the condition, you likely don’t care much for the small, eight-legged creatures. These are the two most terrifying spiders found in the Carolinas:

The Black Widow:

You are probably familiar with the black widow’s appearance. It has an almost glossy sheen to its body and has an hourglass-shaped red mark on the underside of its abdomen. The male widow spider is smaller than the female and rarely bites. The more aggressive females bite more often but will still usually only bite in defense. The most common reason for them to attack is if they are guarding or laying eggs.

The female black widow prefers to spin her silken web in a protected space, such as under decks, house steps or stones. They are rarely found inside of houses. The black widow bite produces sharp pain that typically lasts for hours, resulting in localized muscle cramps. The pain can become severe and spread to other parts of the body and be accompanied by tremors and weakness. Cold clammy skin, a feeble pulse, spasmodic breathing, and delirium might also be experienced. Death is very rarely a result of a black widow bite thanks in large part to the presence and availability of an effective antiserum.

The Brown Recluse:

The brown recluse spider appears harmless. It is yellow to light brown in color and on the smaller side, with its body only measuring around 3/8” long. When its long legs are extended, its length grows by more than an inch. The easiest way to identify the brown recluse is its three pair of eyes. The brown recluse won’t seek out humans to attack, as it is shy by nature. It typically hunts for prey at night and hides during the day. However, its hiding places can lead to accidental encounters with humans as they like to hide in ceiling light fixtures, under insulation in attics, under furniture, in boxes or in closets. These locations are prime areas for them to be accidentally found and bite in defense.

Chances are, you will never experience the bite of a black widow or brown recluse spider, however, that doesn’t mean you have to share your home with these pests. Thankfully, you can get rid of all types of terrifying spiders around your property today by calling Clark’s Termite & Pest Control. Contact us today!

4 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Queen Ants  

Splash Media - July 1, 2017

Everyone knows that a queen ant is the head of her household – the mother of her ant colony. It’s well known that if you want to stop an ant infestation, you should go after the queen. Otherwise, you may kill a bunch of ants while the queen continues to reproducing.

But do you know anything else about queen ants? We’re breaking down interesting facts about the queen that might surprise you.

She’s Not in Charge

This ant is considered the queen because of her role – laying eggs for the whole colony. She’s everyone’s mother, but they don’t bow down to her wishes and she doesn’t tell everyone what to do.

Instead, the queen has an important role that she carries out while the other ants carry out their roles. Nonetheless, the rest of the colony does takes care of their mama. They clean her and bring food to her so she can keep her focus on pumping out babies.

Not Every Colony Has One Queen

Some ant colonies have one queen ant, but other species of ants have worker ants that can reproduce. In other cases, rather than having a centralized queen, a colony can have multiple queens, creating unbelievable expansion in a short amount of time.

She Lives Long and Reproduces Often

You might think – or hope – that an ant could live for a just a few days, weeks, or even months. But queen ants can have a surprising lifespan. In fact, in the perspective of her descendants, a queen ant essentially lives forever.

We don’t know exactly how long they live, but a scientist studied one with a lifespan close to 30 years! Many live for at least 10 years. Over her incredible lifespan, a queen can lay billions of eggs.

Queens Can Have a Mutiny Against Them

While it may seem like an ant colony will do anything for their royalty, they can still have the desire to overthrow a queen. This is especially the case if a colony has multiple queens, resulting in ants from one queen attacking another. Workers come together to form an attack, which involves biting and spraying her with acid, sometimes for days.

Queens are smart enough to plan for a potential attack. When they live with other queens, they lay a reduced number of eggs. Workers are smart as well, as they smell chemical odors from the most fertile queens and kill off the less fertile ones. This sounds like a tricky system of checks and balances with just as much drama as the history of humanity’s royalty!

You may have noticed lines of worker ants walking through your home, which probably means a queen ant is lurking somewhere. At Clark’s Pest Control, we know how to find the queen and stop the colony. Contact us to discover our strategy, or ask for a free estimate on our ant control services.

Top 5 Fun Family Activities to Do Outside This Summer  

Splash Media - June 20, 2017

Who wants to stay inside on a glorious summer day? Summer is the perfect time to spend time outside doing fun things with those you love. You and your family and friends can enjoy lots of fun activities outdoors, all while working up an appetite for a satisfying summertime BBQ. Have fun together on a budget of any size with these 5 great family activities to do in Charleston this summer.

  • Head down to the beach or local pool. Gather up the sunscreen, toys and essentials and enjoy a respite from the regular routine with a day soaking up the sun and relaxing by the water.
  • Create your own backyard games with just a few supplies and add them to outdoor activity options when hosting a get-together or spending quality time together as a family. Corn hole and horseshoes are always fun, crowd favorites.
  • Make nighttime something to look forward to by putting together a backyard movie night. Pick a family favorite, get the popcorn and snacks ready, and settle down under the stars for a fun night outside. You can also check out local parks and even drive-in movie theaters for their outdoor movie night schedules.
  • Get the family into gardening together. What child doesn’t like to get a little dirty? Show your kids how they can grow their own flowers or even fruits and vegetables. Lettuce, basil, tomatoes, and radishes are relatively easy to grow and make great options for first-time gardeners.
  • Explore the great outdoors. Go to a local park or even your own back yard. Help children find and identify small animals and create an explorer’s bag to collect nature finds. Children are naturally curious and love learning, playing and exploring outdoors.

There are so many things that you can do outdoors to make this summer fun and memorable, but what about those pesky mosquitoes? While you’re having fun outside, how do you protect yourself against mosquito bites?

Avoid the Bite of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be annoying and tend to leave swollen and itchy bites on you and your friends and family. These days especially, it also worth taking into account that the Zika virus can also potentially be transmitted from mosquitoes. Protect yourself and loved ones from mosquitoes. Some ways to play outdoors this summer with fewer bites include:

  • Wearing clothing that covers more of the body, such a long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Wear white and light colors to stay cool and also be less attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Removing standing water sources that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Check bird baths and upturned garbage covers for stagnant water. Clean out pools often and watch out for areas near lakes and ponds.
  • Using insect repellent before heading outdoors. Insect repellants with DEET, Picaridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus, 2-undercanone or IR3535 are recommended from the CDC.
  • Avoiding flowery fragrances.

Save yourself and your family from unnecessary mosquito and insect bites while enjoying the outdoors. These are only a few of the steps you can take to avoid getting bitten up while swimming, camping, biking, going for an evening stroll or playing in the backyard. For those that live in Charleston and surrounding areas that are prone to high levels of mosquitoes, Contact Clark’s Pest Control.

Clark’s Pest Control in South Carolina sends professional technicians to assess an issue and provide scheduled treatments to add a barrier of protection from mosquitoes and pests. Outside perimeter treatments, such as liquid insecticides and a 3- to 5- foot band around your Charleston home’s exterior perimeter can keep mosquitoes at bay. Contact an experienced associate at 866-781-4991 to schedule a service.

6 Signs You Might Have Termites: The Unwanted Guests That Will Eat You Out of House and Home–Literally

Jenna Friendly - June 10, 2017

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage to American homes and businesses each year. US residents spend approximately $5 billion annually to control termite infestations and repair damage. Termites never sleep, meaning they work for 24 hours a day for their entire lives. These small, wood-eating insects can consume up to three percent of their body weight in a single day! Queen termites can live for up to 25 years, producing offspring every 15 seconds.

The Formosan “Super Termite” is by far the most aggressive and destructive species of termite, and wreaks havoc on homes specifically in Charleston, Fripp Island, Isle of Palms, and other coastal towns. Formosan termites colonize in above-ground infestations, and have been known to chew plaster, vinyl, linoleum, underground cables, and even asphalt.
However, no part of the country is immune from severe termite damage, since most species are very adaptable and can make themselves at home in a variety of environments.

Fortunately, there are a number of tell-tale signs of a termite invasion. Keeping an eye out for these signs can help you identify a termite problem early and seek professional treatment before the damage gets out of control.

Signs of a Termite Invasion

    1. Mud tubes- Termites need moisture in order to thrive. To stay out of the sun, they build pencil-like tubes out of dirt and mud. Look for these around the foundation of your building.
    2. Discarded wings- Termites discard their wings after they mate in the spring and fall. A pile of small wings is another tell-tale sign that termites have made their home on your property.
    3. Small piles of dirt- Termites carry small amounts of dirt with them as they enter and exit your building.
    4. Insect swarms near your foundation- Swarming insects, especially during mating season in the spring and fall, is another sign of termites.
    5. Hollow-sounding walls- Since termites consume beams from the inside out, you may not notice any outward signs of damage. However, if you knock on the wood and hear a hollow sound, you might have a termite problem.
    6. Termite “droppings” – Termite droppings look like small pellets. Look for them in the corners of your basement or around your foundation.

Keeping your South Carolina home free from termites is not a DIY project. Getting rid of these insects and keeping them away requires the experience, equipment and skill of a professional pest control company like Clark’s Termite and Pest Control. We’ve been helping property owners in and around the Midlands with their pest control needs for nearly a decade. To learn more about the signs of termite damage and how to get rid of them, contact Clark’s today.