Spring is almost here, which means many homeowners will indulge in spring cleaning in the next few weeks. During this time, we encourage homeowners to consider pest-proofing in and around the home.
Spring is the time, no matter how good or bad the winter, when people begin to notice an increase in pest infestations like ants, termites, flies and wasps or mosquitoes. The simplest way to minimize the possibility relevant to an infestation is prevention. Adding just a few quick and simple tasks along with the spring cleaning to-do list can work very well in keeping pests away from the home.
We recommend the next steps to prevent an infestation this spring:
- Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water at your house, including birdbaths also in clogged gutters.
- Seal cracks and holes along the foundation of the house including entry points for utilities and pipes.
- Screen windows and doors.
- Keep tree branches and other plants from touching the house .
- Store firewood at least 20 feet off of the home on a raised structure with concrete blocks.
- Inspect the skin of a home for nests built by stinging insects, which can be found in the eaves under roofs or under the vinyl lip.
- Keep kitchens clean by wiping down counters and also other food surfaces after meal prep.
- Take out the trash frequently and store it in a sealed container outdoors.
- Avoid leaving pets’ food dishes out for long periods of time.
If you suspect you have an infestation, contact us at 731.422.2643 so we can help you determine the best course of action by determining the species of the insects and recommend a program of treatment.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Call Homestead to treat for mosquitoes. 731-422-2643
Homestead Pest Management Offers Homeowners Tips to Protect Their Families and Homes
There are very few things that can have a truly significant impact on the way we live and the quality of life we all enjoy, and pests are at the top of that list. Termites cause almost $5 billion in damage to homes annually; mosquitoes drive people indoors, unable to enjoy their outdoor living space; and roaches, ants, mosquitoes and rodents all have the ability to contaminate food and spread diseases. The summer months represent peak pest season and the perfect time to take a stand against these disgusting and destructive invaders.
There are many simple steps that homeowners can take inside and outside their homes to greatly reduce their risk of pest infestations. Homestead Pest Management has put together the following tips to help homeowners declare their independence from pests.
- Seal any gaps around exterior doors, windows and entry points for utility wiring and pipes.
- Make sure window screens are free of holes or tears and are secured properly.
- Thoroughly check items that provide common transportation for pests including plants and firewood before bringing inside.
- Remove all sources of standing water around your home.
- Store outdoor trash receptacles away from the home and make sure lids fit securely.
- Keep sink areas clean and dry.
- Wipe down counter-tops after use and clean up spills immediately.
- Store all food in sealed, air-tight containers.
- Rinse food containers before discarding.
- Make sure your inside trash can is clean with a secure cover and place all garbage in plastic bags.
- Repair dripping faucets, clogged drains and plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
- Remove all trash and recycling at least once a week.
If you would like a thorough inspection of your home please don’t hesitate to contact us at
According to the CDC, “Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas.
Specific areas where Zika is spreading are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC Travelers’ Health site for the most updated travel information.”
So today we wanted to share a note from one of our clients. Here it goes:
I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how great the service tech was that came to the house. Last week we set up an appointment for service because we had the never ending ant problem like most of your clients, I’m sure. So the next day, Greg came out and did an inspection on the house and sprayed an ant killer.
I was curious about the pets we have and how that would affect them and he let me know that the animals were going to be fine.
Once he was finished with the outside he treated the area around the pool just as we asked Ms. Carol in the office to tell him.
Thanks so much for your help and we are very happy with the pest control treatment you provide.”
If you are seeing ants in your home, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at
As we get ready for the upcoming rain and humid days and with mosquitoes being a hot topic in our area, learning all you can for mosquito prevention goes a long way.
There are some steps you can take to help discourage the mosquito population around your home.
- Change water in pet bowls at least once a day
- Change water in bird baths and wading pools at least once a week
- After a rain, check for holes or low areas in your yard that are not draining well. If these areas still have water after a few days, regrade by filling or leveling these areas out
- Look for and repair outside leaky faucets
- Check trash or weeds in drains or ditches to keep water from collecting in these areas
- Check and clear your gutters for debris or standing water
- Keep plant saucers clear of accumulated standing water
Prevention and ongoing perimeter checks are key to reducing mosquito population around your home. You have other options for mosquito control as well that we can provide.
Try as-needed mosquito yard sprays:
- The technician will spray the entire yard, plus all bushes, trees and landscape areas.
- The technician will also let you know of all potential breeding areas, such as low-lying areas or objects in the yard that collect stagnant water to avoid future issues.
Mistaway Mosquito Misting Systems:
- Our precision-engineered mosquito misting nozzles are installed about every 10-15 feet around the perimeter of your property; on fence lines, trees and risers positioned in the landscaping for a mosquito-free yard.
- Your system can also help control other unwanted insects, like spiders, flies and gnats.
- The misting unit’s electronic controller is programmed to automatically initiate a 30 – 60 second mist around dawn and again at dusk, when the mosquitoes are most active and other beneficial insects – like bees and butterflies – are not.
Whichever options you choose, as needed or permanent year round, mosquito control has come a long way with providing safer, environmentally friendly options for protecting your family and pets from mosquito infestations.
What makes Homestead Pest Management the best choice in West TN pest control? Let’s just break it down:
Homestead Pest Management, Inc. was founded in 1976 by Matt & Diane Markowski, and it is still owned and operated by the Markowski family. It is currently owned by their son David Markowski and their daughter Donna Tyler. Their son-in-law, Charles Moore, is also our Pest Control Manager.
Homestead Pest Management uses the latest techniques to eliminate pests, including using baits and low odor liquids. We were the first company in this area approved to use termite baiting systems, and we strive to always use products that will have the least amount of impact on the environment. All of the technicians employed by Homestead Pest Management are state certified and undergo continuous training to stay on top of the newest techniques and developments in our field.
Matt Markowski was instrumental in forming the Local Pest Control Association, serving as its First President. He also served the Tennessee Pest Control Association as a Director, President and Committee Chairman. Diane Markowski has served as Secretary, Treasurer, and President of the Local Pest Control Association and has also served the Tennessee Pest Control Association as President, Director and Parliamentarian. She has additionally served as Director and Committee Chairperson with the National Pest Management Association. David Markowski has been President of the Local Pest Control Association and President of the Tennessee Pest Control Association. Donna Tyler is currently Secretary/Treasurer of the Local Pest Control Association.
Let Homestead Pest Management, Inc. demonstrate our expertise and commitment to West TN by assessing your home and property and providing you with a customized plan of attack that consists of both extermination and maintenance, as needed. Contact us today, and let us take care of all your pest control needs!
Bugs of all types are not the only issues that homeowners face in trying to care for their property. Mosquito control, moisture control, and rodent control are a few of the other services we provide to our West TN customer base. Homestead Pest Management of West TN is pleased to offer these other services to assist you in your home-maintenance endeavors.
Lee Reich of the Associated Press has this advice on keeping your houseplants free of the pests that can kill them before Springtime returns:
“Now that winter is here, scale insects have started showing up on my potted citrus tree and some orchids. How many other plant pests lurk, ready for a population explosion when conditions become ripe, typically in late winter?
Dowsing plants — especially indoor houseplants — with pesticides is bothersome and hazardous. Repeat applications usually are needed to catch each wave of the emerging pest population at its most susceptible stage. And it’s difficult to spray a plant thoroughly while keeping the mist off curtains, windows and furniture. A number of sprays can stain or even dissolve certain finishes or plastics.
A systemic pesticide such as Bonide Systemic Insecticide Granules, which spreads within the plant, also has shortcomings. It creates a toxic plant, which can poison any pet or child who nibbles a leaf. And, such materials can’t, of course, be used on an indoor citrus whose fruit you plan to eat.
Indoors, where rain and wind can’t carry away residues, you have to be wary even of pesticides labelled “natural.” Natural does not mean nontoxic. Rotenone, for example, is an all-natural pesticide extracted from a tropical plant, yet it is much more toxic than, say, malathion, a synthetic pesticide that also might be used on houseplants. I’m not suggesting using synthetic pesticides over natural ones on houseplants, but be aware of the hazards associated with any pesticide.
I try to avoid using pesticides altogether. They are just one approach to controlling pests, and should be the last one. Other approaches may demand greater intimacy with your pests, learning their habits and life cycles, but that’s part of what makes gardening interesting. Books such as “The Gardener’s Guide to Common-Sense Pest Control” by William and Helga Olkowski, and “The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control,” edited by Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis and Deborah Martin, detail ways to control many houseplant pests.
For now, I’m dealing with scale insects by flicking any that I see off leaves with my thumbnail. I know I won’t eliminate them with this brute-force method, but I can at least keep the population in check. In a couple of months, they might get ahead of me, but by then perhaps the ladybugs that call my home their home will help out, as they have in years past.
I’ve used similar methods against aphids, crushing them where they congregate on leaves near the tips of stems, and against mealybugs, doing them in with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Keeping an aphid-infested plant in the shower will wash the pests away and create conditions inimical to another common pest, red spider mites, which are hard to see but make their presence known by imparting a bronze cast to leaves.
Trapping is a more elegant approach to pest control. Thwart aphids on single- or few-stemmed plants by blocking travel of the ants that herd and protect them: Wrap a sticky band around the stem or stems. Masking tape coated with sticky Tangle-Trap works and lasts for weeks. If clouds of whiteflies puff up whenever you brush against your geraniums, place yellow cards coated with oil or Tangle-Trap near the plants.
Good growing conditions also can help deter pests. Less frequent watering, for instance, is usually all that’s needed to deal with fungus gnats or sowbugs.
Yes, the occasional pest-ridden houseplant will need the last resort, a pesticide spray (or a walk to the compost pile, always an option). Even then, there are some effective and relatively nontoxic sprays, such as insecticidal soap, horticultural oil and Bt. By the time a spray is needed, the weather likely will have warmed enough that it can be done outdoors. Hold pests at bay long enough and you can move houseplants outdoors for their summer vacation, where pest problems frequently clear up by themselves.”
Homestead Pest Management is here to address all your West TN pest control needs! If you have a pest problem, or if you are interested in a preventative prescription, contact us today for a personal assessment of your home and property – we can create an individualized plan to combat your unique pest issues.
‘Tis the season to be Jolly and that we definitely are! We have a lot to be grateful for this year and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your preference and friendship over the years. Thank you for sharing these special moments with us and for allowing us to serve you!
We send you blessings, love, joy, peace and prosperity during this holiday season and beyond. May you always be surrounded with good friends, loving family and happy times!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours!