10 Pest-Proofing Tips for Fall

Savannah Anderson - November 5, 2019

Cooler weather is a favorite for many, as it notifies us that Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us. Time to spend with family and friends and enjoy the warmth of our homes, pests and rodents are looking forward to some heat of their own-in OUR homes.

Pests and rodents can pose serious risks for people and homes. They are known to pass on diseases including Salmonella and Hantavirus. Cockroaches can also spread disease and their saliva and droppings can trigger asthma attacks, especially in young children.

Below are a few tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) that you can do to keep these unwanted guests outside during the fall and winter:

  1. Keep kitchen counters clean, store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  2. Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Pests are attracted to areas of moisture, something they need to survive.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well-trimmed. Removing areas where pests can hide near your home can reduce the chance of them finding a way inside.
  4. Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods, they are very enticing for all kinds of pests and rodents.
  5. Screen attic vents and opening to chimneys, and any other areas where homes may be open to the outdoors.
  6. Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter. Some rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
  7. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the foundation and windows.
  8. Have a proper outdoor drainage system. Installing gutters or repairing an existing system will help water and moisture away from your home, preventing any leaks or build up that might attract pests.
  9. Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and package deliveries before bringing them indoors. Shake out or inspect anything that has been left or stored, indoors or outdoors. Pests can find creative ways to get inside your home.
  10. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens. Torn window screens and cracks under doors are an ideal entry for pests.

The best way to protect your home and prevent any type of pest or rodent infestation is to follow these tips. However, if you think you have an infestation, be sure to contact Clark’s Termite & Pest Control for us to assess the situation and recommend treatment.

Oooh…That Smell…STINK BUGS!

Savannah Anderson -

Mar-mor-a-ted-what???

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) can become a serious nuisance pest when large numbers are able to invade your home in the fall.

The word marmorated  means having a marbled or streaked appearance; which is fitting since BMSB adults are about 1/2 inch long and have

shades of brown on both the upper and lower body surfaces.

BMSBs can be identified by looking for white stripes on the antennae, alternating bands of brown and white on the other edges (lower left and right) of the abdomen; and faint white bands are also on the legs.

Where did they come from?

The BMSB (Halyomorpha halys), is a plant pest, that was accidentally introduced into the United States from Japan, Korea, and China. It first was seen in 2001 in Allentown, PA, but since, it has spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic States and is very slowly moving South.

 

Eat your Fruits & Veggies – Before they do!

The BMSB feeds on crops by sucking the juices out of the inside tissues with its straw-like mouth (stylets). This feeding not only causes direct damage to the crop, but pathogenic bacteria and yeast can be transmitted causing rot.

What to do and NOT to do

Yes

  • Perform a “light leak test” and seal up any cracks and crevices
  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from your home’s foundation to keep from attracting pests.
  • If your home has a fireplace, cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out pests.
  • To get rid of dead (and alive) BMSB, hand-pick them up and toss them back outside. They may release the “stink” when they are threatened – so be gentle.

No

  • Don’t squish them – they release a very foul odor – kind of like the powerful smelling spice – coriander.
  • Do not leave a bunch of dead MBSB around as they will still stink and can attract other insect pests and they can stain surfaces.