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!

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!

 

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