Pests in Christmas decorations

Pests in Christmas decorations have hilariously become a part of our holiday traditions. Watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is something many of us include in our December playlist. The infamous scene of Chevy Chase being attacked by the squirrel living in his tree will live forever!

So how DID that squirrel get into the Griswold’s tree? 

He hitchhiked in with it, of course! We say this again and again, the biggest key to keeping your home pest-free is never letting pests into your home. One of the easiest ways for pests to get into your home at this time of year is via your Christmas decorations. 

Why do pests like Christmas decor so much?

As you unpack the precious ornaments your children made long ago, have you noticed any changes? The ice cream cone reindeer may be missing his cinnamon candy nose.  Pests enjoy edible ornaments children make like candy cane reindeer and cookie dough snowmen. Some ornaments that we might not consider to be edible, pests do! 

It’s not too late!

If you have already decorated for the season, pack them up appropriately when you take them down. Here are a few tips to keep pests out of your Christmas decorations over the next year:

Store everything in air tight plastic containers. Cardboard boxes are not an option.

If you have an artificial tree, wrap it up tightly in plastic.

If you have hung artificial wreaths or garlands outside, shake them out and wrap them just as tightly. At the very least, store them in an air tight plastic tub.

As you lug boxes to and from your attic, basement or storage room, consider how pests can get in the box. It’s not hard to get into a cardboard box if you are a pest. Next Christmas, when you bring decor back into your house, just remember you are bringing ALL of the contents into your house.

Whether you take your Christmas decorations down December 26th or Valentine’s Day, putting them away is as important as decorating day. Keeping pests away is important when they are going up or coming down! 

Starting with a basement, attic, storage room and home that are already pest free helps keep pests away year round. What you bring into your home at the holidays is something you can control. 

Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS can help you prevent pests year round. We have licensed technicians who are trained to thoroughly inspect your home and treat them for your specific needs. We service Memphis, TN and all over North Mississippi and would be glad to provide pest services for inside and outside of your home or business. Contact us here to begin your pest free holidays. 

What are the dangers of DIY pest control?

While there are plenty of dangers associated with DIY pest control, have you even considered what a time-consuming project this could be? The online research, the time spent in the home supply store, the READING OF DIRECTIONS…must we go on?

Of course, there are plenty of people who like to think they can “do” everything. Repair the toilet, replace the dishwasher, fix the roof, patch up the drywall, any names coming to mind yet?

For DYI pest control, there are real dangers that should be of concern before you (or your spouse) decide today is the day to get rid of that bedbug infestation on your own. Read about this over zealous DIY pest control “expert” here.

Easy DIY you can safely do to help with pest control at home

We give this same advice at least once a month to our Lawn and Pest Solutions readers:

  • Remove sources of food, especially dirty dishes in sinks and pet food from the floor.
  • Put away food on counters
  • Store garbage in tightly closed containers, remove from home often if not daily.
  • Check for ways pests can enter your home. Cracks under doors, around windows, torn screens, etc.
  • Remove clutter.
  • Check for leaks around all water sources.
  • Check bags and boxes that have been in storage before bringing them inside. (See Christmas decor)

Why you should NOT try DIY pest control 

There are so many ways to mess up DIY pest control, it’s just not worth it. You can harm your pets, your children, the interior of your home, even the wildlife outside of your home. 

Chemicals must be properly mixed and safely stored. (True story: my mother-in-law is famously known for storing rat poison in a soda bottle in the place where the family kept their soda.) 

Chemicals must be disposed of properly, you don’t want to contaminate the water source of your family or others! “Others” includes the birds and bees and cats and dogs who might be drinking your poisoned water. 

Choose another project for today, we will handle the pests for you.

This guide from the EPA is very easy to read and understand. At Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS we do provide safe and effective pest treatment for your home or business. We aren’t just saying “DIY pest control is dangerous” to get more customers. It truly is a dangerous gamble for an untrained “at home expert”. 

Leave it up to us to get your home pest-free and keep it that way. Our licensed pest technicians are ready to serve the Memphis, TN, and North Mississippi areas. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Let us show you #thelpsdifference. Call us today!

Occasional invaders

In the grand scope of things, occasional invaders are not a big issue in the world of pest control. A few ladybugs, a couple of stink bugs, and even a silverfish or two don’t run most of us out of the house. Now a spider might cause you to stand on a chair, and just one cricket can deprive you of several night’s sleep. 

Occasional invaders typically don’t become a problem until they become an infestation. Even a harmless ladybug becomes not so cute anymore when they have covered your walls with their “mark”. Is there anything positive to associate with the word “infestation”?

What are they looking for?

Occasional invaders, like most pests,  are typically looking for food, water, or warmth. The best places to find them are under sinks, cupboards, crawl spaces, basements, showers, and tubs.

What are some common occasional invaders?

Centipedes (usually found in shower drains)

Earwigs (usually found in moist areas)

Pill Bugs (aka Roly Polies or Doodle Bugs)

Crickets

Beetles

Silverfish (attracted to paper like wallpaper, books, and envelopes)

Ladybugs 

Spiders 

Cluster flies

Stinkbugs

If they aren’t really harmful, then what’s the problem?

You won’t get carried off into the night by a swarm of ladybugs, however…there are some occasional invaders with some pretty yucky characteristics. Again, a few aren’t a problem. It’s all about an infestation. Here is a list of reasons to avoid an infestation of occasional invaders.

Some secrete foul odors 

Some may cause damage and/or staining to your indoor fabrics

They can damage your indoor plants

They may bite or pinch you or your pets

When they die, their bodies can attract other pests

The dead bodies, shed skins and droppings can cause some people to have allergic and/or asthma issues

Occasional invaders

Occasional invaders typically don’t become a problem until they become an infestation.

Where are they the rest of the year?

Occasional invaders aren’t mysterious pests that suddenly appear in the winter, they are active year round. Most of the time they are outdoors and we don’t notice them until they start getting inside our homes for the winter. 

Pest control is a partnership.

We will say it again. Keeping all pests OUT of your home is most of the war. Pay attention to cracks around windows and doors, tears in screens, piles of leaves or branches around your home. Repair any possible entryway for pests so they can’t get in your home. Eliminate areas where water can collect. Check under your sinks for leaking pipes and repair. 

When you partner with Lawn and Pest Solutions, we will help you wage war against the “occasional invaders”. Our services will also protect your home from termites, roaches, ants, and more. Our licensed pest technicians will thoroughly spray inside and outside of your home on a regular schedule to keep your home pest-free year round. Contact us here to learn more about our #pest360 program. 

Mice and Rodents

Did you know rodents are the largest group of mammals in the world? In Mississippi, we have 22 kinds of rodents including mice, rats, voles, and squirrels. Other than being a food source to other animals and the aeration they provide your lawn while burrowing underground, they don’t have many positive attributes.

The “bad” list

Rodents:

Gnaw on electrical wires inside and outside of your home. 

Chew on the wood and insulation in your walls and attics. 

Carry diseases and parasites that are harmful to humans and pets.

Actively reproduce, with several litters a year! 

Speaking of their reproductive life…

Mice are especially “active” and can start having babies at just a few months old. In their short lifespan of only 8 months to a year, one female can have 8 litters, or 50-60 baby mice. They are just looking for food and a warm place to sleep and then they can set up house!

Keep mice and rodents out of your house!

Most of the problem with an infestation of any pest can be solved by just keeping them out in the first place. Here are some things you can do to prevent mice and rodents from entering:

Caulk gaps around doors and windows of your home.

Remove branches, limbs or vines that are leaning on your home.

Close gaps around pipes, vents and cables, a mouse can squeeze through a dime sized opening.

Move outside garbage cans further away from your house.

Remove sticks, leaves, debris from lawn.

Don’t allow grass to grow too high, this along with debris create hiding places for rodents.

Move piles of firewood at least one foot off the ground and away from the exterior of your home.

Check vents, window/door screens and weather stripping around all openings.

If you have a fireplace, install a chimney cap to keep rodents from climbing in.

A warm home and a nice meal, that’s all.

Rodents are especially attracted to the smell of food. You can help deter rodents and mice from moving in by doing the following:

Don’t leave pet food sitting out at night. (Roaches love pet food, too!)

Keep pet food in an air tight container when stored.

Store leftover food immediately.

Clear dirty dishes from the sink before you go to bed. 

Remove garbage from inside your home BEFORE it gets full or worse, overflowing.

Declutter storage areas and place storage bins off of the floor.

If you are providing access to the inside of your home AND leaving food out for pests, how can you blame them for moving in with you? Our licensed pest technicians know exactly what to do when dealing with mice and rodents. Our Pest360 Program can help you before an infestation.

Once mice and rodents are in, the infestation can become a messy one. It’s best to stop this problem before it happens. Contact us and we will be in touch with you ASAP. We service the Memphis, TN and North Mississippi areas with trained and trustworthy employees. 

Lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs

Lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs fall into the category of “occasional invaders. Meaning they aren’t really bothersome until they infest your home. Having one or two of any of these pests isn’t really an issue, until it becomes an infestation.

It’s all about the numbers.

With many of the pests and issues that involve home pest control, it’s all about the numbers. “infestation”. With any infestation of pests, it is very important that you keep these pests out of your home. It’s easy to avoid stink bugs and lady beetles when they are gathered on your porch. When an infestation makes its’ way into your home, it’s time to get serious.

Lady bugs or lady beetles, what’s the difference?

Around our North Mississippi and Tennessee area, we are most likely seeing Asian Lady Beetles. These Lady beetles are slightly different from what most of us refer to as “ladybugs”.  The Asian Lady Beetles often appear when the weather cools.  The Lady beetles will congregate on the side of a house by the hundreds or thousands.  If Lady beetles can find an entry point into your home, they will make their way inside. 

Aren’t Lady bugs the “good” bugs?

Lady bugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. While there are many species of lady bugs or lady beetles, most of them are useful because they prey on aphids. Aphids are true pests that suck the life right out of our plants, trees, crops. 

When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch,  Lady bugs begin feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right!

But on the other hand…

As cute as ladybugs are depicted in art, children’s books they do have a few unappealing characteristics. In order to protect themselves from predators, ladybugs secrete a fluid from the joints in their legs. 

This secretion tastes really bad to a predator and smells really bad to humans. In an infestation, many homeowners experience staining on walls from the secreted fluid. Some people are even allergic to the dust from crumbling shells of dead lady bugs.

While stink bugs are never depicted as “cute” they are also not much of a problem until an infestation occurs. Much like the lady beetles, they produce a foul odor and are best swept up and safely thrown away.

How to keep lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs out of your home:

Repair cracks around windows and doors

Repair torn window or door screens

Remove piles of branches and leaves in your lawn

Eliminate areas where water collects

Check under sinks for leaking pipes and repair

Now is the time to check out what is happening outside your home.

The first thing you can do as a homeowner is keep pest out. Immediate action would be to vacuum up lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs and throw them away. If you are beyond that solution,  Lawn and Pest can help.

In addition to “occasional invaders” we are also here to protect your home from termites, roaches, ants and more. Our licensed pest technicians will thoroughly spray inside and outside of your home on a regular schedule to ensure this problem is taken care of now and later. 

Contact us here to learn more about our #pest360 program. Our website has a user friendly app to leave your messages with our office. Leave us a message and let us show you #thelpsdifference .

Local or National for Pest Control

When choosing a pest control company, one can choose between a local or national company.  It is easy and fast to Google “pest control” and find a national company.  Orkin and Terminix most likely pop up first. National marketing and branding companies have successfully made their names a fixture. Local or national pest control is a choice to think about before making the decision.

Orkin, Terminix, and other national pest control companies aren’t bad. They are large and successful pest control companies. We easily recognize their names and logos and feel like we “know” them. But what do they know about you

Who are we?

Working with a locally owned business like Lawn and Pest Solutions means that you are getting very personal service. We have customers and technicians that know each other on a first-name basis and keep up with each others’ lives. We work hard to retain our employees for years so that customer relationships are solid and built on trust. 

Our pest technicians are trusted and honest, hardworking, and loyal to the company and our customers. We don’t send in “fly by night” employees to spray in your home. Our licensed pest technicians are people that you can trust. You won’t be worried to see our guys spraying in your lawn or on your patio. 

Did you Google us first?

When deciding between a local or a national pest company, try reading the Google reviews. You can’t help but notice that our customers frequently refer to our employees by name in the reviews. Do you know your pest technician by name? 

In addition to providing reliable technicians, our owner Paul Welborn feels personally responsible for each customer. From customer service to satisfaction with pest services, Paul is invested. It is not uncommon for him to show up at a home to help solve an unusual pest issue. He is committed to making sure the customer gets the best possible service.

Keeping people happy.

Lawn and Pest owner Paul Welborn is hands-on and present.  Whether loading up trucks at 6:45 a.m. or frying up fish at employee appreciation day, he is there. Creating personal relationships with his employees and investing in their futures is important to Paul. Keeping loyal, trained technicians that want to stay with the company is key to keeping customers happy. 

When the company sees itself as a team, everyone benefits, including the customers. This is why it is important to choose locally owned pest control services over a nationally owned pest service. At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we want to know YOUR name and give you the best termite and pest control ​you can get.

We provide outstanding customer service and stand behind our programs. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis areas with outstanding pest control and lawn treatment for pests. Contact our office 24/7 to get a very fast response and outstanding service. 

Can I bug proof my home?

You CAN bug proof your home! Keeping bugs away is almost as simple as keeping a tidy home and yard. Of course, calling a Lawn and Pest Solutions technician to treat your home for pests is always a great idea. Just remember that to successfully KEEP bugs away, this is a team effort. The best professional treatment won’t work if we aren’t “all in this together”. 

Bug proof your home from the outside

  • If you have firewood stacked next to your home, get it off the ground and move it a few feet away from the house. 
  • Clean up debris from your yard. Piles of sticks, limbs and leaves are gathering places for bugs. If there are any limbs, vines or branches that actually touch your home, remove them. These create a corridor for bugs and other undesirable critters to get into your roof or home.
  • Repair any small holes, cracks or tears in window screens, under doors or windows. Bugs are tiny and can get in the smallest access points.

Bug proof your home from the Inside

  • This may seem super obvious, but shut your windows and doors, all the way. Don’t leave gaping doors and unscreened windows open. This is the easiest way for ANYTHING to get in your home. 
  • Check the space behind your washing machine and refrigerator where water lines come in. This is not as obvious or easy to check, but a very easy point for bugs to get in your home.
  • Keeping the inside of your home tidy and clean is obvious, but vacuuming away cobwebs may not be. 

What are bugs looking for inside my home?

Water first.

Leaky faucets or sources of water are popular gathering spots for bugs. Look under your sink, washing machine, and refrigerator, this is where bugs gather. Water that runs from outside to inside is their best bet.

Food next. There are two quick and easy things you should ALWAYS do. 

  • Rinse and put away dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Sweep up pet food and keep it in sealed containers.

You can bug-proof your home, but it takes teamwork. You do your part, we will do ours. Contact Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS and we will work with you to bug-proof your home. Hire our local bed bug exterminators to protect your home from unwanted guests. Our licensed pest technicians will show up promptly and treat your house the same they would their own. We serve neighborhoods and businesses from Memphis, TN, and anywhere in between all over North Mississippi. 

Wasp Control

Wasp control is something most every homeowner eventually deals with. Unless one is highly allergic to a wasp sting, they aren’t very harmful (but maybe painful). While a wasp doesn’t usually go out of its’ way to sting, if you disrupt their space, they may get a little “stirred up”. 

Just be calm.

If you happen to wander into a wasp nest, don’t start swatting! Remember, the object is wasp control. Swatting attracts more wasps so be calm and move away. Walk indoors if you can. If a wasp follows you indoors, open windows and doors and allow it some room to get out. 

Wasp nests are generally found around loose piles of wood and under porches. They can also be found along rafters or in rarely used empty cans, buckets and boxes.

Everyone has at least one good quality.

Unlike bees who pollinate other plants, a wasps best redeeming quality is that they help us out by eating other insects. Telling the difference between wasps and bees is pretty easy. Bees are “husky” and wasps are “slim”. Bees are “hairy” and wasps are “smooth”.

Things that attract wasps:

  • Flowers and plant life
  • Outdoor eating areas
  • Uncovered and overflowing garbage cans 
  • Properties with many insects and spiders (prey for wasps)

Is it too late to control wasps?

Wasp nests are generally designed by the queen in the spring and they grow all spring and early summer. By August, nests are at their peak size and the wasps are at their most aggressive. If you have waited until August, either get the help of a professional or just try to avoid stirring them up. 

If you decide to just keep calm, let the frost do its’ work.  Then get rid of the nests so they don’t move back in next spring.  Be proactive and start looking for them early in the year. Then  destroy the nests and the queen before they grow and get really angry. 

Five things you can do to control and prevent wasps from taking up residence with you next spring:

  • Remove abandoned nests in winter
  • Seal gaps in your home
  • Eliminate loose piles of wood and refuse in your yard
  • Clean up rotten fruit under fruit trees
  • Keep outdoor garbage tightly sealed

If you aren’t into wasp hunting, call a professional pest service like Lawn and Pest Solutions. They can control wasps while you stay safely indoors. A licensed technician from Lawn and Pest can assess the situation and handle it promptly and safely. Our trained pest technicians serve all areas between Memphis, TN, Oxford, New Albany and Tupelo, MS. You can also find them everywhere in between! Give us a call to control wasps, hornets, bees and other angry pests!