AVOIDING PESTS INDOORS AND OUTDOORS
It’s true! Louisiana’s climate allows her the leisure of pretty moderate temperatures during the winter months, even cold snaps can find their way to us from time to time. That’s when insects and rodents will run for the shelter and warmth of your Baton Rouge home.
These household pests include carpenter ants, ghost ants, cockroaches, silverfish, ticks, roof rats and house mice—eeekkk!! Not only are pests annoying and inconvenient for you and your loved ones, they can also cause major damage to your home. The Bug Man suggests that you to contact a licensed pest professional at the first indication of insect or rodent issues in your home this winter. That being said, here are some facts you should know about these pests:
- Pests wintering in your home can spread pathogens and disease.
- Rodents carry life-threatening diseases caused by bites from vector insects, such as fleas and ticks.
- Roaches that feed on rodent droppings can cause the dangerous respiratory condition, Hantavirus, as well as allergic reactions that can trigger asthma attacks, particularly in children.
- Rodents, if startled or threatened, will bite people and pets.
- Because rats and mice reproduce at a rapid rate, rodent problems should be handled immediately by professionals, trained and certified in rodent removal, and elimination.
- Some pests can put your home’s structural integrity at risk and even cause electrical fires.
- Carpenter ants burrowing through wood can cause as much damage as termites—ughhh yes!!
- Rodents who can chew through wood, asbestos, brick, concrete, aluminum and ½-inch thick metal, also gnaw through electrical wiring and are suspected of starting house fires.
Indoors, start by:
- Keeping food prep surfaces and dining areas clean and sanitary
- Sweeping, mopping and vacuuming floors regularly
- Sealing all open dry goods in air-tight metal, glass or hard plastic containers
- Cleaning dishes immediately after dining
- Storing leftovers and desserts in your fridge
- Using air-tight trash receptacles
- Repairing leaks in pipes and any moisture-prone areas
Now…for the Outside:Remove all construction materials and unused plant containers
- Keep your lawn cut short and remove areas of tall grass nearby
- Stack firewood 20 feet away from your home, if possible
- Reposition rocks and mulch away from your foundation
- Trim branches away from your home and remove vines growing up your exterior walls
Focus on water-prone areas around your house
Consider areas where water is commonly found and take appropriate measures:
- Store toys, planters, baby pools and other items that collect water in dry places
- Repair any damp/rotting wood that makes it easier for pests to gain access to your home
- Clean your gutters
- Make sure your downspouts are functioning properly to direct water away from your home
- Remove piles of gathered leaves from the base of your home and off your property
- Seal up cracks, crevices and holes at the base of your home.This not only deters pests, and improves your home’s energy efficiency
- Check windows and doors for cracks and other places pests can enter your home
- Make sure door seals are in good shape or replace worn weather stripping
- Check crawlspaces for tight-fitting seals around openings
- Seal or caulk cracks and crevices in crawlspaces
- Stuff small holes with steel wool to deter rodents
- Check attic vents for tight seals
- Consider your roof and the upper area of your home. Roof rats (umm yes) and flying insects can enter your home through tiny spaces
Other steps to take to exclude pests include:
- Keeping all trash receptacles clean and away from your home
- Sanitizing the area around your trash receptacles
- Moving compost piles away from your home
- Trading out standard white exterior lightbulbs with yellow or sodium vapor lights
- Installing storm windows. For year-round screen usage, your screens need to be intact, with no holes or tears and fit snugly
I HOPE YOU FIND THESE TIPS HELPFUL!
The Bug Man hopes you have a fun, pest-free Louisiana winter—what’s left of it. Cleaning up and repairing the exterior of your home this winter, plus keeping the interior of your home clean and sanitized will go a very long way in creating a healthy place where pests can’t survive and reproduce. Come spring, you’ll be ready for the increased pest activity that comes with the season. For comprehensive pest protection, contact The Bug Man to design a seasonal integrated pest management plan that uses human and pet-friendly methods and treatments to create a pest barrier around the perimeter of your property.
Don’t bug out this winter, call The Bug Man and keep your peace of mind intact. You’ve got our Bug Man Guarantee!
Thanks for checking out my first blog post.
See you soon.
The Bug Lady,