St Louis Pest Control Blog

Are you prepared for the cooler weather?

The Cold is Coming

It’s that time of year again, when we all tend to migrate indoors—including the rodents. The cooler weather brings mice, rats, raccoons, squirrels and other critters into your home. In addition to the critters, insects will take over and “winter burn” can wreck havoc on your trees.

Cold Weather Pest Control

To avoid damage to your home and property, stay on the look out for these common offenders and take action.

Seal off cracks that invite rodents in

Clean out your garage, shed, and seal all food in airtight containers. Otherwise, the mice and rats lurking and seeking shelter and food will move in during these cooler months. That bag of birdseed in your garage is an invitation. Also, clear your gutters of leaves and seal cracks around the base of your home.

Checking for a pest problem is much easier after you’ve cleared out your clutter, so take some time to clean out the garage, basement, and attic.

Rake leaves and store firewood away from the home

Did you know piles of leaves can attract and mask insect problems? Also, decaying, wet firewood? Rake leaves and store your firewood away from your house. Also check the exterior perimeter of your home before leaves fall and snow covers the ground for any noticeable cracks or holes in the dirt leading to under your porch.

Carpenter ants will damage the structure of your home and odorous house ants can contaminate food. Again, seal all cracks. Eliminate sources of standing water and seal tight food containers. Trim back those tree branches that may happen to touch your home. You can always purchase the taro syrup at your local hardware store to poison the ants, but it’s a good idea to have a professional check to be sure there isn’t an infestation or damage that you don’t know about happening.

Repair damaged screens, vacuum often, and watch those drains

Did you know cockroaches can cause asthma in children? They also spread more than 30 types of bacteria if they move into your home. Keep your kitchens and bathrooms well sanitized and vacuum often to prevent these pests from hanging around—often in drains and pipes.

Ladybugs, Cluster flies, and Box Elder bugs will enter through cracks or damaged window screens and stain your curtains and carpet with their droppings. You might notice them on the sunny side of your home. Vacuum often and seal those cracks.

Continue to water your plants during winter months

Winter burn is a form of dehydration of evergreens (including boxwood, holly, rhododendron, and most coniferous species). When the tree roots lose water through transpiration, they need to be watered more.

How do you know? You can identify winter burn on your trees if the leaves turn and needles brown, as a result of damage to the leaf tips or outer leaf margins.

In addition to watering your plants, wrap plants with burlap and put up windbreaks. This will help them retain moisture and offer wind protection.

Call us today!

Call Blue Chip today if you suspect you need pest control before it turns into an infestation. The last thing you want is for rodents to bring fleas, lice, or ticks into your living space. As for the insects, by staying on top of them with regular extermination and checking on your part, you will avoid larger problems down the road and damage to your property.

Know the pests that enjoy your home

Do You Have Pests in Your Home?

Many pests lay eggs in safe places before dying when the weather cools, or they hibernate under tree bark and rocks like wasps and roaches. But here we’ll look at the five most common offenders that do in fact seek warmth like we do—inside our homes.

In Home Pests

Here are the most common offenders and what to watch for:

Wildlife

Do you hear gnawing and scratching in the walls at night? Mice are nocturnal and will leave droppings around. They will chew through wires, spread disease and damage your property. Squirrels, raccoons and mice do not hibernate outside during the winter. Instead they seek shelter and can damage your home by tearing through insulation, leaving their business behind, and birthing their young.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs emit a foul odor, not unlike a dead mouse, and become a nuisance to homeowners. Although they are more of a problem for farmers in that they attack crops and plants, they do get inside of homes and multiply.

Cluster Flies

Flies, while annoying, seem harmless. Wrong. As their name implies, Cluster flies gather in groups inside your walls, forcing their way in during this time of year because of the cooler temperatures. Then they hibernate and come out in full force come spring.

Ants

Watch out for those carpenter ants that love to nest in wood, especially windows and doors. These insects do enjoy warm homes, but will destroy yours. Little black ants tend to nest in cracks around your foundation and in your walls. If you see them out during a warm winter day, you have a nest in your home.

What to do?

The best defense is offense. Stay on top of pesky insects and critters this fall. Look out for entry points to your home and keep up with a regular pest control schedule. Having a service in place will ensure that nothing is multiplying inside your walls, ready to take over in force come spring.

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