Don't Let Scary Spiders Ruin Your West TN Halloween!


Most people are at least a little bit scared of spiders, and why not? We think of the deadly black widows, the movie-worthy tarantulas, and the soldier-scaring camel spiders, and we see eight-legged little monsters. Add to that the facts that hey are silent, sneaky, creepy-crawlies that are hard to avoid in the woods, hard to find when you walk through their webs, and hard to stop from coming into your house. They are masters of the ambush and skilled at camouflage. Scary!!

While, admittedly, many species of spiders are helpful in that they help control insect populations, there are also those that are harmful to people and pets. Take the brown recluse spider, for example: this spider lives in dark corners and places inside houses, between books on bookshelves, under furniture, and in boxes or bags that are in dark, dry places. Though not usually overly aggressive, humans do get bit fairly frequently by brown recluses because they share the same habitat, and the arachnid is often not easily seen.

If you have seen spiders in your home or on you property, and you'd like to not just get rid of those that are there, but to also take preventative action, let our Homestead Pest Management team come to your West TN home or property, assess the level of the problem you have, and prescribe a course of action that best meets your needs. No contract required! Contact us today!

Tips for Taming Fall and Winter Pests

Fall and winter bring temperatures that, while keeping many insects at bay, bring larger mammalian rodents like squirrels and rats out of the cold looking for warmer climes.  They are happy to set up a new residence inside your home or other properties.  According to BusinessInsider.com:

 

“’Rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States every winter,’ says Missy Henriksen, an NPMA spokesperson. ‘But with many places already experiencing cold weather conditions, it is important to be proactive and vigilant in preventing these pests from becoming unwelcome houseguests.’

 

These little punks are not coming to sing you carols.

 

Rodents carry all sorts of nasty diseases, like Salmonella and Hantavirus and can chew straight through wallboards and electrical wiring.

 

If you don't want to blow your holiday savings on bug busters, check out the NPMA's tips on simple, affordable ways to keep your home pest-free this winter:

 

·        Store items in boxes and plastic sealed containers, rather than cardboard boxes.
 
·        Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
 
·        Install screens over chimney vents and openings.
 
·        Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
 
·        Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around basement foundation and windows.
 
·        Install gutters or diverts to channel water away from your home.
 
·        Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground.
 
·        Inspect wires, insulation and walls for any signs of gnaw marks.

 

If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional” like Homestead Pest Management of West TN.

 

 

HPM is here to help you evaluate the extent of your pest issues, rid your West TN home and property of any infestations, and maintain a pest-free environment with ongoing routine and scheduled service.  Contact us today for more information about all our pest control services in West TN!

The Bugs of Fall

Fall is upon us, and the unique challenges it presents with regards to pest control in West TN are upon us, too.  Homestead Pest Management is here, too, to help meet those challenges head on!

Lorene Bartos, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educator, has this to say about dealing with the bugs of fall.

"Fall is here. Now is the time to look around the home and do fall maintenance. By doing this you will help with the problem of the little insect creatures finding their way into the home.

"All animals struggle to survive in winter, so during the fall insects and arthropods will crawl in the cracks and crevices of homes to keep living. If a house is not sealed well, insects have a lot of space available to hibernate in during the winter.

"The best prevention method is to seal all cracks and crevices around the home with materials such as caulk and expandable foam. Door sweeps are used to create a weatherproof seal at the bottom of a door, but they also work well to keep pests from crawling inside.

"The effectiveness of chemical sprays is limited because today’s products aren’t long lasting. Some crawling pests, such as millipedes and spiders, aren’t greatly affected by sprays. Some pests, such as flies, ladybird beetles or boxelder bugs, fly and avoid perimeter sprays.

"Some common insects that enter homes include ground-dwelling insects and arthropods, such as spiders, crickets and sometimes millipedes. Other insects can enter higher up. These include boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetles and cluster flies. Flies can come into a house through cracks in siding or windows in upper or attic areas.

"Sticky traps or glue boards are a great way to passively catch spiders or crickets. The glue boards are completely non-toxic. Spiders and crickets tend to go toward dark areas, so place the glue boards in dark corners.

"The problem with other insects, such as the boxelder bug, is once they are inside a wall, nothing can be done about them. Boxelder bugs, flies and Asian lady beetles warm up inside of walls during this time, and when the weather becomes cooler they will venture out of walls into a home. Once these pests are in the walls, there aren’t many good options because walls can’t be treated.

"Another insect that can be a problem in the fall is the fruit fly. They can come inside when people bring ripe tomatoes and other garden produce into the kitchen. If the produce is ripe, it may have fruit fly maggots in it. Over time, an infestation may begin in a kitchen. Fruit flies are small, honey colored and have red or orange eyes.

"First make sure to get rid of the source of the flies. Get rid of any overripe fruits or vegetables or put them in a refrigerator. Make sure to check onions and potatoes — they are often overlooked. Once the source is eliminated, get rid of the remaining fruit flies by making a yeast trap. This yeast trap, made from yeast, warm water and sugar, creates carbon dioxide, which attracts fruit flies. It is simple to make and costs hardly anything. Find directions for making this fruit fly trap at: http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest

"The bottom line to prevent fall-invading insects is to take the time to seal all cracks and crevices. It will save a lot of energy and prevent insects from entering a home. If done diligently, it will save a lot of problems."

Homestead Pest Management of West TN can help you assess the current state of your home and property, and can assist you by developing a comprehensive plan of attack for ridding your home of unwanted pests and then maintaining its protection going forward. Contact us today for information about our services and to schedule  a home assessment!

 

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