The end of summer and beginning of fall is a time when many outdoor pests start looking for a winter home. Mice and rats in particular are a common problem for homeowners at this time of year. This is especially true for homeowners in rural areas, where outdoor pests are abundant. At this time of year, homeowners must do what they can to fortify their home and keep pests out.
Seal Holes in the Home Exterior
Many pests enter the house through foundation cracks, open vents, pipes and other holes into the house. Sealing these holes is very important. Use wire screen to cover vents, to allow air to flow to continue. Use caulk to seal cracks. Homeowners can find the holes that need to be covered up by walking around the house from the outside and inspecting areas like the attic and foundation. Homeowners can also find holes by entering the attic during the day and looking for areas where daylight is shining through.
Get Rid of Food and Water Sources
Pests need a steady source of water and food near their home. They are unlikely to live in a place where this cannot be easily found. Homeowners can deter pests by making food and water hard for rodents to access. Storing food in glass or plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes is a good way to make food inaccessible. Another way to do this is by fixing all plumbing leaks as soon as they become a problem, since leaks can be a source of water for rodents.
Clean Your Home Regularly
Rodents like to eat crumbs off the floor, and they also like to invade garbage cans. Cleaning the floor regularly and taking out the trash on a nightly basis can help keep rodents away. It's also important to do the dishes every night, instead of allowing the dishes to sit in the sink.
Weather Strip the House
Most homeowners install weather stripping because it helps them to control the temperature in their home when the weather outside is very cold. A surprising benefit of weather stripping is that it prevents pests from gaining entry to the house. By sealing up the cracks, weather stripping closes up all entry points into the home and prevents rodents and other pests from entering. Weather stripping is installed on doors and windows. Homeowners can buy weather stripping at home improvement stores and hardware stores.
Getting Rid of RodentsRodents make life difficult for homeowners. Rodents can tear up pantries, drop feces ,and create general chaos in the home. Knowing the warning signs of rodents and what can be done to prevent rodents from making problems can help homeowners protect their City Centre property from infestation.
Warning Signs of Rodents
There are many warning signs that indicate a home is occupied by rodents. Homeowners who recognize the sounds and sights of rodent infestation can act quickly to protect their home from this problem.
Sounds of Activity
Mice and rats make noises in the walls and ceiling as they run from one part of the home to the other. Sometimes these sounds will take the form of scratching, other times the sound is like chewing. Rodents living in homes tend to be most active at night, so homeowners often hear these noises after going to bed. Typically, mice and rats will not make vocal noises (squeaking) unless they've been injured or have become trapped.
Mice and rats will drop feces in any part of the house where they spend time. Rodents even leave feces scattered behind them as they run, so it's common for homeowners to find feces in areas behind doors and along walls, where rodents are likely to run. Piles of feces can build up in areas where rodents spend a lot of time, especially in cabinets, under sinks, and in the walls.
Torn Up Boxes
Mice and rats tear up cardboard boxes like cereal boxes and boxes that contain dried food. This can happen in pantries, closets, and in cabinets that seem to be sealed shut.
Mice and rats prefer to remain unseen, so sightings are rare. When a rodent is spotted, it usually happens at night. Rodents can most often be seen running from one sheltered area to another.
Getting Rid of Rodents
There are many ways to get rid of rodents. Consider the following rodent removal methods to get your house pest free.
Seal Holes in the Walls
Holes in the walls make it easier for mice and rats to move from one part of the house to the other. Holes can be found around pipes and vents leading into and out of the house. Hardware cloth is useful for sealing vents that need air flow, while steel wool can be used to plug holes around pipes. Another way to seal holes around the house is to install weather stripping under and around doors. Mice can squeeze through very tight spaces, so weather stripping can help prevent that from happening.
Clap traps and glue traps can capture rodents as they run from one part of the house to the other. If necessary, homeowners can use peanut butter to lure animals to the traps. Glue traps and clap traps must be checked on a daily basis to ensure that the traps have not captured an animal.
It's that time of year when wasps are hungry. If you have a nest close to your home or your outdoor living space, you may be composing a plan of attack especially if you're trying to sell it.
Who wants to view a beautiful home with wasps threatening your every move?
First, are you positive that those black and yellow flying creatures are wasps or hornets? Honey bees have elongated abdomens like wasps, as opposed to bumble bees which are rounder and fuzzier. Honey bees are endangered and generally won't build a hive close to the house and aren't as aggressive as wasps. They're not a threat unless they feel you are.
If they are indeed wasps you don't have to get out the poison to get rid of them. Here are some ideas on natural wasp control.
- Don't attract them in the first place: Hungry wasps love food. That's why they like to come and spoil your picnic or barbecue. Their favourites are meats and sugary food or drink. That includes dog or cat food, so don't leave those outside. They like hummingbird feeders, too. Keep your garbage cans and compost bins closed. If you smell good they may be attracted to you, too. Don't look like a flower and don't smell like a flower. Some people believe white or yellow clothing will attract wasps, but the jury's out on that one.
- Hang a fake nest: This is an oldie but a goodie. If you have a nest nearby right now this might be something to think of for next year in the spring. Wasps are like any other creature – very territorial. They are very careful about building a nest if they believe there's another wasp colony in the area. Sometimes if they think someone has moved into their territory they might leave rather than fight. Some retailers sell fake nests – they look rather like a paper lantern. Or, you can blow up a paper lunch bag, tie the top with string and hang it up close to an existing nest.
- Try an optical illusion: Scientists believe that many flying insects, such as wasps, bees, flies and even mosquitoes see things in a unique way because of the special design of their eyes. This trick is supposed to work, guaranteed; fill a zip lock sandwich bag with water and put a penny in it. This gives bugs the illusion of a spider web – the penny being the spider lurking at the bottom of it. Another theory as to why this trick works is that the light reflecting off the water in the plastic bag is too bright and hurts their eyes. Whatever the reason, it's a trick worth trying.
- Timing is everything: Wasps are not active at night so this is the time to attack them, whether they're hiding under a step or hanging under the eaves. But just because the nest is asleep in the cool of the evening, you should still protect yourself and be prepared to run. If the nest is only slightly bothersome you might want to wait until winter to remove it because they will all be dead and gone. The queen runs away to hibernate over the winter.
- If you're going to kill them use non-toxic spray: Chemical pesticides are effective but not good for your children, your pets or your garden. But you don't really need poison. Dish soap and water works just fine. All you need is a hose-end sprayer from your local garden centre. Hook it up, turn on the water and stand by in case some escape in revenge maneuvers. Once your potion is sudsy, let 'er rip. The soap gets on the wings, weighing them down. If any get away they likely won't return.
- Choke off entrances to underground nests: Some wasps will burrow underground or set up shop under a nice dry step. If you know where the point of entry is, you can block the step or in the case of a flat surface put a bowl over the top. Do it at night for your own safety. It may take a few weeks for the colony to die off. If you want to use the soap and water trick you can pour soapy water down the hole as well before you plug it all up.
Work With a Pest Control Company
Homeowners who have had trouble with rats and mice in the past are likely to have the problem again in the future. The best way to prevent this from happening is to work with a pest control company.
Many pest control companies offer a regular service option. The exterminator will position poison stations in various areas around the perimeter of the home, and then will check the poison periodically to see whether or not the bait is being eaten. If the bait is eaten, this is an indication that there are either mice living outside on the property, or mice living in the house.
Whatever the method the homeowner chooses, it's very important that a house be kept free of pests. Rodents can cause damage, spread disease and can even devalue a home, if the problem is allowed to go on for long enough. For more information about how you can keep your home free of pests, contact a reputable pest control company in your area.