7 Ways to Keep Pests Out of Your Home
Everyone wants to live in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina – not just people, but rodents, ants, termites, palmetto bugs, bees, wasps, and mosquitoes, too! At one point or another, every home in the Lowcountry will suffer from pests. Once they’re in the house, you can try getting rid of them yourself or you can contact a pest control company to help.
But it’s even better to keep bugs and other pests out of your house in the first place, so here are seven tips for no-stress pest prevention.
7 Ways to Keep Pests Out of Your House
- Keep your house clean and don’t leave food out. Pests of all kinds, from palmetto bugs (cockroaches) to ants to fruit flies to mice will stick around if they find it easy to grab a meal from your house. Be sure to clean crumbs and spills thoroughly; it may seem small to you, but it’s a feast for a small creature.
- Use screens and keep them in good shape. Something as simple as adding screens to windows and doors can go a long ways towards keeping unwanted bugs and rodents out. Don’t forget to put screens on vents that lead to the inside of your home, too. And fix any holes you find in your screens ASAP.
- Plug the holes in your house. It’s impossible to seal up every crack and crevice leading in your house, but do what you can. Caulk windows and make sure doors shut tightly to keep out ants. Fill cracks in your foundation to make it hard for termites and mice to get in. Don’t forget to look for openings in your attic, too, where squirrels can enter.
- Store firewood, lumber and other wood correctly. Termites eat wood. If you’re storing firewood or other wood on the ground near your home, you’re making it easy for them to move in and set up a colony. Instead, store wood off the ground and away from the house.
- Forget the cardboard. It’s hard to bring zero cardboard into the home, but try. Termites eat cardboard, too, and you can unknowingly bring these ant-like pests into the house via cardboard boxes.
- Eliminate leaks and standing water sources. This will help deter mosquitos, termites, roaches and more. Fix leaking pipes and faucets, keep gutters clear and in working order, and get rid of spots where water accumulates both inside and outside your home.
- Trim tree branches so they’re not touching your roof. Ideally, tree branches should be 8 feet away from your roof – yes, squirrels can jump that far! From there, they can gain access to your attic. If that’s a no-go, install a baffle on your tree.
Already have pests or termites? Call Charleston’s best pest control company today!
Call a reliable pest control company like Anchor Pest Management to safely and effectively take care of your pest problem. We do inspections and help people in West Ashley, Summerville, Mt Pleasant, James Island and the rest of the greater Charleston area get rid of the critters that are common here in South Carolina. Call today!
Signs of Termite Infestation in Your Home
Of course you know that termites are bad news. These destructive pests that can destroy the value of your home as well as your home itself, eating away at the wood and plaster so fast it can suffer major damage in a few short years or even months. And because of Charleston’s location in the South, we have to deal with not one but several species of termite, including Formosan, drywood, and subterranean termites.
But termites can be very hard for someone other than a pest control professional to detect. They’re often silent and invisible, quietly wreaking havoc on your home. So how do you know if you have them? Here are some ways to see, hear and smell if you’re living with these unwanted guests.
How to tell if you’ve got termites
You see termites. Let’s start with the obvious. If you see a termite, you have a termite problem. Termites appear similar to ants, but have straight, beadlike antennae; evenly sized wings; and a broad “waist” (different from the ant’s narrow “waist”). If you’re not sure whether you’re looking at an ant or a termite, call in a pest control expert to identify what you’ve got.
You see a swarm in spring or summer. Termites mate in springtime. On a warm day you may see a big swarm of winged termites inside or outside your home. Be careful – they’re going to reproduce and start a new colony, and they might do so in your house.
You find lots of tiny wings on the floor. After termites pair up to reproduce, they shed their wings and settle down to start a new colony. Even if you didn’t see the actual swarm of flying termites, you might find evidence of their reproductive frenzy in a pile of little termite wings on the floor.
You see little tunnels made of mud along your home’s walls. Termites travel in these mud tunnels from their nest to the food (i.e., your house) and back. If you find tunnels that appear to be the diameter of a straw, you might be looking at termites.
You hear a hollow sound in a wall that shouldn’t sound hollow. Termites eat wood from the inside out, so you may hear the destruction before you see it.
You smell something like mildew or mold. Termites produce a musty smell.
You see damage that looks like water damage. Bulging surfaces of ceilings, walls and even floors can indicate termite damage.
You get a termite inspection. Although there are many ways termites give themselves away, the fact of the matter is that they could be living in – and destroying – your house for a long time before you ever realize it. Hire a pest control company like Anchor Pest Management to inspect your home, especially if you live in South Carolina or another location where termites are highly active. If there’s evidence of termite colonies, we have solutions to get rid of the termites and stop further damage.
Don’t let these critters destroy your home! Call and arrange an inspection today.
Hidden Under the Floorboards
The weather around the country is finally getting warm enough for summertime pests to begin emerge and become active. Some pests such as termites wait for very specific conditions to start their search for a nesting site.
Termites are destructive pests that can easily go unnoticed by homeowners, eating a home from the inside out. Unlike ants and wasps, most species of termites nest inside the structures they infest, so they are not often seen leaving their nests. Termites typically eat through the building or tree they’ve infested 24 hours a day to sustain a growing colony.
Termite damage is often not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, making prevention or early detection crucial for avoiding costly renovations.
Ants Bugging Southern U.S.
An invasive and aggressive species of ant, red imported fire ants plague homeowners during the summer. Although they seem to disappear during dry spells, the ants are actually underground out of the heat.
Fire ants are more dangerous than other species because they have a very potent sting. People who have known sensitivities to insect stings should be extremely cautious around fire ants.
While fire ants have out-competed native ant species, they are currently competing with a new invasive species, crazy ants. This new pest is half as small as a fire any and may be more difficult to treat.