About cotton

5 Troublesome Wintertime Pests

According to the Institute of Real Estate Management:

“Building owners and managers must be on the lookout for five winter pests. The first is the box elder bug. Such pests feed on the little “whirlybird” seeds that are released from box elder and maple trees in the fall. When colder temperatures hit, they like to find a nice warm spot to hunker down for the winter. Box elder bugs are only a half inch long, so finding a way into most buildings is pretty easy. Look for them just inside the exterior walls of your building, on the warm sunnier side. Then, to stop these pests, all exterior cracks and crevices must be sealed. In addition, exterior doors must be sealed tightly on all sides. Cluster flies are the second winter pest to guard against. They tend to cluster in large numbers and come inside when winter arrives. To combat them, air handling and exchange units must be maintained with proper filters that prevent these pests from entering the airflow. Additionally, filters must be properly fitted within the unit to prevent bypassing. Asian multi-colored lady beetles are a potential third pest problem. They are often found in buildings during the winter, moving in groups, and releasing a smelly, yellowish liquid that can stain wall and ceiling coverings. Entrances must be fitted with brushes, gaskets, air curtains or other devices as appropriate to ensure that such insects cannot crawl or fly into the building.

A fourth pest to fight off now that it’s cold is the brown marmorated stink bug. Such pests, when disturbed, release a strong, foul order to the point where the surrounding area can be rendered unusable. The article’s author urges that all exterior doors and windows be kept closed or properly screened when open. In addition, the most effective means of removing these pests is by vacuuming occupied areas. Finally, be on the lookout for common house mice. Removal typically requires an effective trapping program.”

At Homestead Pest Management, we can help you to get rid of these and other pests, then design your plan for ongoing maintenance of your pest-free status.  Contact us today to get more information or to schedule a personalized assessment of your home and/or property.

Banish Moldy Oldies in your Home this Fall with HPM

Crawling insectoid pests are not the only things that you need to protect your home from – mold and mildew from excess moisture in, under, or around your home can be a costly problem that can cause damage to your home and bring illness to your family.

According to Energy.gov:

“Properly controlling moisture in your home will improve the effectiveness of your air sealing and insulation efforts, and these efforts in turn will help control moisture. The best strategies for controlling moisture in your home depend on your climate and how your home is constructed. Proper ventilation should also be part of a moisture control strategy.

Before you decide on a moisture control strategy, it helps to understand that moisture or water vapor moves in and out of a home in three ways:

  • With air currents
  • By diffusion through materials
  • By heat transfer.

Of these three, air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from high-pressure areas to lower pressure areas by the easiest path available — generally through any available hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents happens quickly, and carefully and permanently air sealing any unintended paths for air movement in and out of the house is a very effective moisture control strategy.

The other two driving forces — diffusion through materials and heat transfer — are much slower processes. Most common building materials slow moisture diffusion to a large degree, although they never stop it completely. Insulation also helps reduce heat transfer or flow.

The laws of physics govern how moist air reacts in various temperature conditions. The temperature and moisture concentration at which water vapor begins to condense is called the “dew point.” Relative humidity (RH) refers to the amount of moisture contained in a quantity of air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air could hold at the same temperature. The ability of air to hold water vapor increases as it warms and decreases as it cools. Once air has reached its dew point, the moisture that the air can no longer hold condenses on the first cold surface it encounters. If this surface is within an exterior wall cavity, the result is wet insulation and framing.

In addition to air movement, you also can control temperature and moisture content. Insulation reduces heat transfer or flow, so it also moderates the effect of temperature across the building envelope cavity. In most U.S. climates, properly installed vapor diffusion retarders can be used to reduce the amount of moisture transfer. Except in deliberately ventilated spaces such as attics, insulation and vapor diffusion retarders work together to reduce the opportunity for condensation in a house’s ceilings, walls, and floors.”

Homestead Pest Management of West TN has always offered vents, drains and plastic barriers as options for moisture prevention underneath your house to keep mold or fungus from developing. Contact Homestead Pest Management today to have a free underneath home inspection and get informed about all the moisture protection options applicable to your home. We are your West TN pest control experts, and we are here to help with all your pest control needs!

Moisture in your Crawl Space?

Do you have floor joists in your crawl space that look like the one to the right?  When you do, you’ll notice the ‘furries,’ as one of my friends called the microbial infestation growing on that wood. What’s going on here? Why is stuff growing on the wood down in the crawl space?

Well, it might be mold and here’s what’s necessary for it to grow:

  • Spores – They’re everywhere and will grow if the other conditions are met.
  • Appropriate temperatures – They like pretty much the same temperatures we do, and even colder. Ever seen mold in your fridge?
  • Food – Organic matter is what they like, and it’s everywhere. Mold likes cellulose (wood) and the more processed, the better. Paper is called mold candy by people who work in this field.
  • Moisture – To sustain growth, a mold colony must have water. When the relative humidity of the air is 70% or higher, mold has enough water to grow.

So, of the four requirements for mold growth, the one we have most control over is moisture. Keep the materials and the air dry enough, and we won’t have a mold problem.

Have you measured the relative humidity in your crawl space? When I was doing improvements on homes, I’d install a digital thermo-hygrometer with a remote sensor in the crawl space so the homeowners could track the relative humidity. If you’re not doing this yet, and you have a crawl space, get yourself one of these devices now.

OK, so you’ve measured and determined that you do have high relative humidity in your crawl space. That’s not unusual at all, especially in a humid climate like we have here in the Southeast. Where’s the moisture coming from? And why is the humidity in a vented crawl space higher than the outdoor relative humidity? Here are three reasons.

1. Bulk Water

 


The first problem to look for is bulk water. If there’s standing water in your crawl space, you have either a drainage problem or a plumbing leak. You need to fix this immediately. Having a pond under your home is a bad, bad idea.

In the photo above, the problem was that the back yard sloped down to the house, bringing water up to the foundation wall. Since it was just a crawl space, the builder didn’t put any kind of water proofing on the concrete block or grade the yard properly to keep the hydrostatic pressure from building up against the block wall. You can see the result here. This was a new house with a serious bulk water problem. The joists were already growing stuff, and the fiberglass batt insulation was getting heavy and falling down.

2. Moisture Evaporating from the Ground

moisture problems wet soil crawl space high humidity

In the photo above, the ground was partially covered with a polyethylene vapor barrier. The dirt that wasn’t covered looked dry, but when I pulled the plastic back, I found that there was a lot of moisture in that soil. The soil that looked dry only looked that way because it was constantly evaporating moisture into the air of the crawl space. The foundation walls can also evaporate moisture into the air.

What do you do to solve the problem? Cover it all up with a vapor barrier!

3. Outdoor Air Coming in through the Crawl Space Vents

Some people find this hard to believe, but when you bring outdoor air into the crawl space, the relative humidity actually increases. Think about it this way: When air enters the crawl space, it cools down. Cool air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, so the air that enters is now closer to its saturation point (which we call the dew point). It might’ve been 60% relative humidity outside (relative to a temperature of 90° F, say), but when that air came into the crawl space and cooled down to 75° F, the relative humidity jumped up to 95%. Not good!

The numbers here come from the psychrometric chart (invented by Willis Carrier, the inventor of the modern air conditioning system), which relates temperature and humidity of air.

What Can You Do?

If you’ve got a vented crawl space with high relative humidity caused by one or more of the above, to solve the problem, you’ve got to remove the causes. Bulk water is solved by fixing the drainage or plumbing problems. Water evaporating from the ground or coming through the vents can be fixed by encapsulating your crawl space.

One thing that does NOT work is to try to treat the symptom by installing a dehumidifier. Don’t do that!

Summer Critters

In the midst of the warmer months of the year there is not much concern of pests that typically invade during the winter. After all, there is a lot of time to be spent on the lake, gardening and other fun-filled summer activities to pursue. But did you know that even when the weather is warm outside, rodents may still be trying to get into your home?

 

Although typically more of an issue in the winter when they need a warm place to reside, mice and rats are still in search of food during the summer which means they can still invade your home. When it comes to rodent infestations there are many concerns that should be considered even when the sun is shining and the warm weather abounds.

 

Gnawing on furniture, structures of the home, personal belonging, food packaging

Leave urine and droppings which leads to contamination

Can transmit diseases through droppings and biting

Cause fire hazards from chewing on electrical wiring

Can introduce other pests into the home such as fleas and mites

Clearly, rodents do not make good house guests regardless of the season and if you have been distracted by the long summer days (which let’s face it, we all have), it is possible that mice and/or rats may find their way into your Midwest home. Thankfully for homeowners, there are rodent prevention techniques as well as professional pest control services that are designed to keep mice and rats from breaking and entering no matter what time of the year. 

 

For residents who are living in the West Tennessee area including Jackson, Lexington, Milan and throughout our large service area, Homestead Pest Management is prepared to help protect your home from mice and other rodents. With our trusted home pest control services you can set your worries aside and rest assured our experienced team will get rid of rodents and many other common household pests. To learn more or to schedule your pest control service, please give us a shout today!

Privacy Policy

HomesteadPests.com Privacy Policy

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

 

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?

 

When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address, mailing address, phone number or other details to help you with your experience.

 

When do we collect information?

 

We collect information from you when you register on our site, place an order, subscribe to a newsletter, respond to a survey, fill out a form, Use Live Chat, Open a Support Ticket or enter information on our site.

 

Provide us with feedback on our products or services 

How do we use your information?

 

We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:

 

      • To personalize your experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content and product offerings in which you are most interested.

      • To improve our website in order to better serve you.

      • To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests.

      • To quickly process your transactions.

      • To ask for ratings and reviews of services or products

      • To follow up with them after correspondence (live chat, email or phone inquiries)

 

How do we protect your information?

 

Our website is scanned on a regular basis for security holes and known vulnerabilities in order to make your visit to our site as safe as possible.

 

We use regular Malware Scanning.

 

Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. In addition, all sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.

 

We implement a variety of security measures when a user places an order enters, submits, or accesses their information to maintain the safety of your personal information.

 

All transactions are processed through a gateway provider and are not stored or processed on our servers.

 

Do we use ‘cookies’?

 

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the site’s or service provider’s systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. For instance, we use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart. They are also used to help us understand your preferences based on previous or current site activity, which enables us to provide you with improved services. We also use cookies to help us compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

 

We use cookies to:

      • Help remember and process the items in the shopping cart.

      • Understand and save user’s preferences for future visits.

      • Compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may also use trusted third-party services that track this information on our behalf.

 

You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser’s Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.

 

If users disable cookies in their browser:

 

If you turn cookies off it will turn off some of the features of the site.

 

Third-party disclosure

 

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information unless we provide users with advance notice. This does not include website hosting partners and other parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or serving our users, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release information when it’s release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others’ rights, property or safety. 

 

However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

 

Third-party links

 

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third-party products or services on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

 

Google

 

Google’s advertising requirements can be summed up by Google’s Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en 

 

We use Google AdSense Advertising on our website.

 

Google, as a third-party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on our site. Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our users based on previous visits to our site and other sites on the Internet. Users may opt-out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google Ad and Content Network privacy policy.

 

We have implemented the following:

      • Demographics and Interests Reporting

 

We, along with third-party vendors such as Google use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to compile data regarding user interactions with ad impressions and other ad service functions as they relate to our website.

 

Opting out:

Users can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Settings page. Alternatively, you can opt out by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page or by using the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser add on.

 

California Online Privacy Protection Act

 

CalOPPA is the first state law in the nation to require commercial websites and online services to post a privacy policy. The law’s reach stretches well beyond California to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates websites collecting Personally Identifiable Information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its website stating exactly the information being collected and those individuals or companies with whom it is being shared. – See more at: http://consumercal.org/california-online-privacy-protection-act-caloppa/#sthash.0FdRbT51.dpuf

 

According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following:

Users can visit our site anonymously.

Once this privacy policy is created, we will add a link to it on our home page or as a minimum, on the first significant page after entering our website.

Our Privacy Policy link includes the word ‘Privacy’ and can easily be found on the page specified above.

 

You will be notified of any Privacy Policy changes:

      • On our Privacy Policy Page

Can change your personal information:

      • By logging in to your account

 

How does our site handle Do Not Track signals?

We honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.

 

Does our site allow third-party behavioral tracking?

It’s also important to note that we allow third-party behavioral tracking

 

COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)

 

When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States’ consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

 

We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.

 

Fair Information Practices

 

The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.

 

In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:

      • Within 7 business days

We will notify the users via in-site notification

      • Within 1 business day

 

We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.

 

CAN SPAM Act

 

The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

 

We collect your email address in order to:

      • Market to our mailing list or continue to send emails to our clients after the original transaction has occurred.

 

To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:

      • Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.

      • Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.

      • Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters.

      • Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.

      • Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.

      • Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.

 

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at

      • Follow the instructions at the bottom of each email.

and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.

 

 

Contacting Us

 

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below.

 

Homesteadpests.com

256 Airways Blvd.

Jackson Tn 38305

USA

731.422.2643

info@homesteadpests.com

 

Last Edited on 2018-05-24

Fall and Winter Pest Control Tips

Fall Leaves

During the fall and winter months, you won’t be paying as much attention to the outside of your home as you do during the spring and summer.

 

The weather is cooling down, leaves have fallen off the trees, and plants and other landscaping needs are not as critical.

 

However, failing to properly maintain the outside of your home this time of year can create an open invitation for many different types of pests, especially as they seek to stay warm inside your home during the cold winter months.

 

Fall Bugs & Pests

Fall bugs are abundant – as the seasons change, you’ll see pests coming and going.

 

Overwintering pests start making their way inside for shelter, while “summer” bugs, like flies and stinging insects, linger.

 

Continue reading

Fall infiltration is coming

Crisp mornings and cozy evenings by the fire are welcome signs of the autumn season. But fall also signals the start of home insect invasions – not so welcome.

In temperate regions of the country, as days shorten and temperatures tumble, insects begin to seek out winter quarters. In warmer regions, as dry seasons fade to wet, insects shift into gear to search for dry quarters. While you anticipate spending the coming season snug, warm and dry indoors, insects are also eyeing your home as a potential winter haven

Continue reading

Termites, Rodents, and Bugs Oh My!

With all these hot summer days, you wouldn’t think this is the time to be worried about the cooler weather and protecting your home from termites.  But let me explain why getting started now makes the most sense for piece of mind and your pocket book.

When termites get to your home, they are literally designed to tear it apart, tiny piece by tiny piece.  This fall is it is critical for your home’s safety that you get on a program to prevent these types of infestations.  Let me explain why. Fair warning.. this gets a little scary.

 Termites and ants are the home wreckers. They breach your home’s defenses and build colonies in your walls. Those colonies feed and burrow into your wood, making vast pathways through support beams and framing. Many homeowners don’t even see the destruction till it’s too late, and they are looking at thousands of dollars of repairs–if they can repair at all.

Rodents get into your crawl spaces and walls and bite on wires, and snack on sheet rock. In this way, other than being an awful, shaggy, disease carrier, that creeps through your cubberds and pantry, they can also cause issues with your electric, telephone, web, and TV wiring. These are difficult to find issues covered up inside your attic or walls, and can cost a great deal to fix. On the off chance that you’ve at any point paid an electrician to do anything, you know they’re not cheap.

Fall critters also bring infections and sickness. The cockroach loves microorganisms and rot. When he is finished dragging his gleaming dark colored body through the sewer pipe, he is all too happy to slither into your flour pack, or over into your silverware drawer. The bad part is, normally you don’t know it. Your kids becomes sick with this season’s flu virus, and you think it is just the season, unaware that the issue is being brought into your home by a fall intruder.

Creepy crawlies, wasps, insects, and ticks, love a decent warm place to spend winter. They get you while you’re sleeping or while you’re relaxing on the deck. They get you while you’re comfortable on the sofa. Insect bites are worse in the fall, because there are more of them. Also to the bugs, your warm, secure home, looks like a great place to settle in for their long winter stay.

Then, there are a whole slew of pests that are just plain irritating, like: ladybugs, stink bugs, crickets, silverfish, centipedes, cluster flies, and more.

In the fall, bugs and rodents are looking for a place to hibernate or overwinter. And they can turn your happy home into a horror film. That’s why fall pest control is so important. A pest professional can treat your yard, and set up devices that watch for harmful insects, like termites. They can stop many bugs before they even get to your home. Professionals have training on how to seal your house, and can spray the outside of your home, especially in hard to reach places, like the roof line and third story window frames.

You don’t have to live in fear of bugs and rodents. Proper fall maintenance can keep your home and your family safe, and bug free. You have enough to worry about. Leave your bug worries to the professionals.