How to Protect Your Home This Summer

How to Protect Your Home This Summer

The first way to ensure that pests don’t make your house their home, is to prevent them from ever coming inside. This means that you’ll need to seal all entrances to your home, including your doors and windows. By doing so, there won’t be any no gaps for those pesky bugs to sneak inside. This will also help to weatherproof your house, thus preventing leaks and then the potential of mold after a downpour. The Family Handy Man website recommends purchasing weatherstripping, which is a thin seal that is backed with adhesive. Once installed, it will weatherproof and close up any openings in doors and windows. The weatherstripping is easy to install. You simply cut the strip and then place the adhesive side along door and window frames.

Next, take a look around your property. Do you have any trees that are close to your house? If so, note if there are any overhanging tree branches. If there are, then bugs and/or rodents can use your tree branches as a clear path to get onto the roof of your house. U.S. News’s article about protecting your home from pests explains, “Since you probably aren’t on your roof a lot, it can be easy to forget that this is where a lot of animals can enter your house. Mice can climb brick walls and enter an opening in the roof, like a chimney. “Since we often think more about the doors and windows that we see everyday, it can be a common mistake to forget about our roofs – but the pests certainly don’t! To remedy this issue, trim branches close to your house in order to take away that easy entrance.

Another option to prevent pests is chemical barriers. Chemical barriers are used as a longer-lasting method; with some barriers that can last up to 4-5 years. Depending on the type of pests that are rampant in your specific area, you can buy a chemical barrier to prevent them from even coming close to your house. Bayer Advanced recommends chemical barriers and says, “Keep insects from gaining access to your home by applying an insecticide at least 1 to 2 feet from the ground up, along the foundation, and also 1 to 2 feet from the foundation wall outward, along the ground. You can create a larger barrier, if you like, of 4 to 5 feet.” Since the barrier will be around your home and on the soil, bugs won’t be able to come close to your home.

If you have pets, it’s easy to forget that ants and roaches enjoy your pet’s food just as much as your own pets do! So whether you have cats, dogs, or even horses, make sure their food is sealed in a food container overnight. When food is left out, it attracts pests, since it’s an easy food source for them. If your pets need to be let outside to play or use the bathroom, make sure you don’t leave your doors open while you do so. If you leave your door open, even for a few moments, outdoor insects have the opportunity to come inside, and make your home their new residence.

A pest that is in almost everyone’s backyard and has infuriated many, is the squirrel. Though quite adorable, these pests can be meddlesome and highly destructive to your home. According to Pestkill’s article, they explain how to prevent squirrels from your backyard garden and home. If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, squirrels can view your garden as their own personal buffet. Using hot peppers sprinkled into the soil, putting plastic mesh around the garden, and/or using motion-sensor sprinklers to scare them away, your garden should be safe. Inside your home, squirrels love attics because of its safe space and insulation they can steal for their nests. Like we noted before about tree limbs, take a look around your attic to ensure there aren’t any holes or entrances that are open to the outside. If so, make sure to seal those entrances to prevent any squirrel from returning, or wreaking havoc on your attic.

To keep your home safe from pests, your diligence as a homeowner is top priority. If you take these precautions, your home is sure to be pest-free, preventing any damage and costly repairs to your home. Now, you’ll be able to relax for the rest of summer; keeping the pests where they’re meant to be – outside of your home!

Pet-Friendly Pest Solutions

Pet-Friendly Pest Solutions

Many of us have pets in our homes – whether it be dogs, cats, gerbils, fish, or all of the above. When we discover a pest problem such as ants, roaches, or even squirrels, it’s important to first consider the implications of pest treatment for our beloved pets. Before you run out to a local hardware store for pest control products – keep your pet(s) in mind and learn what would be safe to use around them. If the pest problem is small, then there are safe ways to take care of the issue yourself. For those nasty pest problems though, consult your local pest control company since they have trained technicians to take care of the problem safely.

If you decided to call your local pest control based on your specific pest issue, make sure that you let them know exactly what type and how many pet(s) you have. A small dachshund could easily crawl its’ way through a hole made by a squirrel, but a rottweiler won’t have the same such luck. So based on your information, your technician will be able to advise you on what to do with your pet during the treatment, and possibly provide alternative treatments that are pet-friendly.

Cleggs’s article about pet-friendly solutions explained, “In some cases, exterminators can apply pest control substances that are not toxic, or at least not toxic to any species but the pests they target. In other cases, pest removal pros may be able to use preventive techniques, such as sealing holes, cleaning gutters or drying damp areas to reduce the risk of future infestations, and therefore limit the need for pest control chemicals to be applied.”

When a treatment plan has been decided on, ask your technician what you should do with your pet(s) when treatment is being done, and then for aftercare. Typically, hamsters, gerbils, fish, or other small pets that live in smaller containers can simply be moved to a different room, thus being closed off from the treated area. For dogs and cats, it can depend on the type of treatment. Sometimes, they can simply be closed off from the area during treatment and whenever the product has dried, other times it’s safer to place your pet at a friend’s house.

If you have a small pest problem that you want to take care of yourself, you can search for pet-friendly pest control products. Researching online and checking different products can show brands that are child, environmental, and pet-safe, such as this pesticide product. Whatever product you chose, ensure you read the instructions and warnings clearly to ensure you’re using the product correctly.

If you notice a lot of mosquitoes when you go outside and receive those itchy bites, then they’re probably irritating your pet as well. Since we protect ourselves against mosquitoes, we should also protect our pets. PetMD wrote an article on pest repellent mistakes to avoid, one of which noted, “Don’t treat your pet with human pest repellent.” Though mosquito repellent seems safe for your pets because it’s safe on humans – it can be the harmful if it includes the ingredient, “DEET.” This ingredient can cause neurological damage and potentially poison your pet if sprayed on them. Citronella candles are another substance to be weary of if you have household pets. Though it’s used to deter mosquitoes, this can cause respiratory and irritation if your pet breathes in the fumes from the candle. If citronella is wiped on their skin, if can cause similar side effects. To be safe, pet websites such as Petco offer products that not only repel fleas and ticks, but also mosquitoes.

If pests haven’t managed to get inside your house, you can still take precautions to keep them outside. According to RaidKillsBugs, you check prime hiding places that pests love to come in through and hide in. In your kitchen, check behind appliances and underneath the sink for trouble areas. Check your baseboards for any cracks or crevices, since this could be an easy entrance for outside ants or roaches. If your furniture is against the wall, check behind it often, and then underneath furniture such as sofas. If you have child-proofed your cabinets and have a pantry to store food, these dark, cool places are pest favorites as well. (For an extra tip, making sure any pet or human food is sealed, since pests enjoy sharing any of your open food!)

Lastly, you can consult the National Pesticide information center’s website if you have additional concerns for your pets. Included on their website are tips to keep your pets safe before, during, and after pest treatment. For instance, before treatment is started, make sure you pick up and store any dog/cat toys, beds, and bowls. These items need to be kept away from the treatment area(s), since they could accidentally be coated in the treatment product. For fish, make sure their tanks are covered to prevent any liquid or vapors getting into the tank. If a fogger is being used, turn off the fish tank pump during use.

Taking these precautions is top priority to ensure your beloved pets are kept happy and healthy. If you have a pest problem, you or your local pest control company will be able to take care of it quickly and pet-friendly!

Should You Choose the Small Guy, or the Big Company?

Should You Choose the Small Guy, or the Big Company?

You finally have a relaxing weekend at home, so of course that means tackling a house project. The garage hasn’t been cleaned up in many months, so how about some spring cleaning? You notice a few pieces of wood in the corner that look a bit dusty. No problem – just put those with your other project pieces and clean them up. To your horror, when you start to move the pieces of wood, you notice hundreds of small, worm-looking insects eating the underside of the wood! They’ve already eaten half a plank, and there seems to be hundreds of them.

If you’re a homeowner, it’s always a shock whenever you find a bug or rodent that has wrongfully trespassed in your home. When you’re faced with a situation that requires pest control to fix it, who do you chose to fix the problem? The small guy, or the bigger company?

First, let’s talk about the smaller companies. If you are brand new to your area or don’t know of any pest companies, it’s difficult to decide what company to choose. It’s been studied and proven that consumers see customer service as their top priority when choosing a pest company. According to emarkerter’s article on Consumers Favor Small Businesses Because of Their Customer Focus, they explain, “US consumers are choosing small businesses because of the personalized experiences they provide compared with larger businesses.”

Consumers want a committed owner, personal and face-to-face interaction, and friendly interactions. With smaller companies, there’s a family-friendly environment because their consumer base is much smaller than a big company. Since small companies are trying to grow and gain more clients, they put a large emphasis on customer service, so that you’ll spread their business through word-of-mouth and be a repeat customer. In a large business, your name and pest problem can easily be forgotten amidst the hundreds of customers they service.

Even though studies show that pricing isn’t a top concern for consumers – it’s still a determining factor. Pest problems can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to fix. Booking a job with a small company, according to Forbes, means that local business owners are more likely to give back to your community. Instead of potentially paying for a CEO’s pool house, you’ll instead be helping a small business grow, pay for their operational costs, and in turn, help them give back to your community. Since small businesses service a specific community, it’s no surprise that they take community-involvement very seriously.

Now let’s talk about big companies. One of the determining factors they have are their client reviews. Compared to smaller companies, large companies have many clients that they can incentivize to post informative reviews online about their experience with the company. According to advice from SalesHub, “Your online business reviews are actually a fantastic way to obtain feedback about your products, services or business overall. By reading your own reviews, you can get a sense of what the customer was looking for. You can see what the strengths of your products, services or business were and what the weakness were.” So these large companies take their reviews very seriously. Think about it: if you saw and read through dozens of 5-star reviews, then you would feel that company is more trustworthy, and you would be more likely to call that large company for your pest problem.

Compared to the days of phone books, nowadays consumers find answers to their problems through search engines, like Google. If a consumer searched for a pest control company, then the active, large company will be one of the first ones to pop up. Since they have the money to spend on marketing, web design, and SEO, large companies are able to put their company at the top of the list and have an updated website. From there, many large customers can fill out a contact form about their problem, read reviews, and learn more about the company, without ever even having to pickup the phone.

To sum it all up, typically large businesses have the money to hire the seasoned technicians, have an easy-to-navigate website, and service a large area for different calls throughout the week. Comparatively, small companies are very community-based, pride themselves on excellent customer service, and typically put your money back into the community.

The detriment of whether you should pick a small business or large company, is what is most important to you personally in a pest company. If you want to support a local, growing business and experience great customer service, then the best choice is to pick a small business. However, if you would prefer a more established, technologically-advanced corporation with plenty of great reviews, then call a big company to take care of your problem.

Just remember – after you have contacted and had your choice of companies out to fix your pest problem, make sure you let others know how your experience went. How did you feel about the company’s customer service, their ease of scheduling, and the timeliness of fixing your pest problem?  Leave an honest review and share your experience with friends and family, so others can make an informed decision between choosing a small guy, or a large business.

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