Pests in Christmas Decorations?
Yes. There are pests in your stored (and maybe fresh) Christmas decorations. A huge part of keeping your home pest free is never letting the pests get into your home. The squirrel scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation never gets old, and it’s a perfect example of how a pest can hitchhike into your home. Maybe it’s a little dramatic for comedy’s sake, but there are plenty of simple ways for pests to come into your home. The easiest is the boxes of Christmas decorations!
Blame it on the kindergarten teacher!
As you unpack those precious ornaments your children made long ago, do you notice they have been nibbled on? Maybe your ice cream cone Rudolph is missing his cinnamon candy nose this year…that’s because pests have been feasting for the past 11 months on your decor. Pests enjoy the edible ornaments children make every year. Candy cane reindeer, candy covered snowmen, and even some ornaments that we might not consider to be edible, pests do!
It’s not just the ornaments…
The packaging for your Christmas decor can prevent or promote pest invasion. Cardboard boxes are not an option, invest in air tight plastic containers. As you lug those boxes to and from your attic, basement or storage rooms, consider how mice, roaches, termites and more can get in the box. It’s not hard to get into a cardboard box if you are a pest. When you bring that box into your house, you are bringing ALL of the contents into your house.
In that infamous scene, Chevy Chase is attacked by the squirrel living in his tree. It could happen. It could also be prevented. When you bring any living things into your home, even a simple potted plan, you are risking bringing “other” living things inside. A simple shake out or inspection will be that ounce of prevention we are always talking about. Now, let’s talk about the day AFTER Christmas.
That’s a wrap.
Whether you take your Christmas decorations down the day of (I had a neighbor who did just that) or you choose to wait until Valentine’s (guilty) or later (guilty, again) putting away day is as important as decorating day. If you have an artificial tree, wrap it up tightly in plastic. In this video, learn to wrap up tree, lights, ornaments and all in one quick wrap. 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 until next year.
It’s never too late.
You may have already put your tree up and hung the edible ornaments. You may have noticed the little missing pieces and the droppings in the boxes as you unpacked your decorations. You can redeem yourself when you put them away. Remember what Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Now you know better.
Maya Angelou wasn’t talking about pest control when she said that, but it applies to most everything in life, right? Whether you are about to hang the lights or are already tired of your Christmas decor, keeping pests away is important. Starting with a basement, attic, storage room and home that are already pest free helps keep pests away year round is something we can help control.
Being careful about what you bring into your home at the holidays is something only you can control. Let Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS 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. Contact us here to begin your pest free holidays.
What are occasional invaders?
The term “occasional invaders” sounds somewhere between a piece of fancy furniture and an early 80’s video game. You might not think of pests in your home when you hear that phrase. What is the definition of “occasional” anyway?
Learn to pronounce
- occurring, appearing, or done infrequently and irregularly. “the occasional car went by but no taxis”
Why do some of the occasional invaders have to be so cute?
According to the Illinois Department of Health occasional invaders are pests that aren’t really that bothersome until they infest your home. One or two occasional invaders like a doodlebug or a ladybug don’t send us up on the sofa with a rolled up newspaper. The same may not be said for a spider, and a single cricket has been known to cause a sleepless night for many. However, as with many of the pests and issues that involve home pest control, it’s all about the numbers. You know it, that dreaded word, “infestation”.
Here is a list of reasons to avoid an infestation of occasional invaders
Some secrete foul odors (that’s enough for me right there)
Some cause damage and/or staining to your fabrics inside
They can damage your indoor plants
They may bite or pinch you or your pets
When they die, their bodies can attract other pests
Sometimes their dead bodies and skins that have been shed (plus their droppings and such) can cause some people to have allergic and/or asthma issues
Who are these occasional invaders?
- Centipedes (usually found in shower drains)
- Earwigs (usually found in moist areas)
- Pill Bugs (aka Roly Polies or Doodle Bugs)
- Beetles (check out our previous blog on beetles)
- Silverfish (attracted to paper like wallpaper, books and envelopes)
- Ladybugs (check out our previous blog on ladybugs)
- Spiders (check out our previous blog on spiders)
- Cluster flies
- Stink bugs
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. As with almost every pest we battle, keeping them OUT of your home is most of the war. Paying attention to cracks around windows and doors, tears in screens, piles of leaves or branches around the home helps. Repair any possible entryway for pests so they can’t get in your home. Remove piles of leaves and sticks and overgrown vegetation. Eliminate areas where water can collect. Check under your sinks for leaking pipes and repair.
If all else fails, know that you can count on Lawn and Pest Solutions to help you wage war against the “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.
Can cockroaches survive a nuclear attack?
Why did I google this anyway?
The topic of this blog was meant to be “Can cockroaches survive a nuclear attack?”. It didn’t take long to find out the answer to that is no, according to this article and many others. You could probably guess that this topic has been studied by everyone from scientists to extreme game show participants and many in between.
Well that was easy.
After discovering so quickly that roaches would not survive a nuclear blast, I felt the need to press on. Have you ever seen something so gross and disgusting that you felt like you needed to take a bath just from seeing it? That’s how I felt after researching cockroaches this week. There were just so many grossly compelling questions following the old nuclear attack one, I had to google on.
What is one thing you have ever googled and then regretted? For me, it was what happens if you step on a cockroach. For the record, baby roaches don’t go running, and that’s a relief. But unfortunately, I continued reading. When you step on or “squish” a cockroach, it’s eggs are not released. That’s because it’s eggs are stored in a hard shell, all around your house! Did I mention they multiply quickly?
Oh, it gets worse.
More google regret came when I clicked on “what happens if you put a cockroach in the microwave?”. First of all, I think we should ask why anyone would put a roach in a microwave. I digress. Cockroaches are cold blooded and can live without food for a week. They also have very little body water, so they can survive a long amount of time in a microwave oven. That’s also why they can only survive one week without water. You can read more about this here if you need further motivation to take a shower.
It’s not over.
“How to prevent cockroaches” has suddenly moved up in my search. A few things you can do at home include getting rid of dirty dishes in the sink, garbage, pet food on the floor and leftover food sitting out. Of course, after reading way too many articles about cockroaches this week, even I know that the cleanest house on Earth is still susceptible to roaches. You can clean, remove excess moisture from your home, seal up cracks. Haul off your newspapers and cardboard, mop frequently, declutter, wash dishes…are you tired yet? This is going to take teamwork.
The Lawn and Pest Solutions Team
Cockroaches are one of the oldest living insects on the planet, so it’s going to take a team to rid your home now and forever. Our licensed pest professionals can come and launch a personal attack on the roaches who are hiding under your baseboards, fridge, stove, dishwasher. While we need you to do your part of the fight against roaches, our people have the right tools and insecticides that are targeted to the specific type of roaches for your area. Call us here , get a quote, and let our guys get right out to your home and begin the war on pests.
One thing leads to another
Cleaning gutters prevents many other issues
In 1983 an English new wave band hit the charts with “One Thing Leads to Another”. While The Fixx probably didn’t write this song about cleaning out your gutters, the theory certainly applies.
Don’t be that guy on YouTube
Cleaning out gutters is a chore no one looks forward to. It seems like one of those chores where many bad decisions are made. There is always a ladder that seems a little less than reliable and no one wants to help. YouTube has many results of “guys falling off of ladders and roofs”, at least half of them had to have been on gutter duty that day. This video link isn’t necessarily a guy cleaning his gutters out, but you get the picture. Try to keep safety first in mind if this blog convinces you to climb up and clean out!
So what if I don’t clean out the gutters?
When gutters don’t drain, collected water can cause a multitude of issues. Collected water causes wood to decay and rot. Guess who loves rotting and decaying wood? That’s right, termites! But that’s not all…
Washed areas can also hold water close to your foundation. When water is being held close to your home, the soil becomes saturated and water can seep under your foundation. Guess what pests also love moisture? Termites AND mosquitoes!
One more thing…
Overflowing gutters can wash out mulch and flower beds near your home. These washed areas can thin out your lawn. This can then give weed seeds an open area to grow and germinate. No one needs more weeds or a thinned out lawn.
“One thing” you can do is clean out your gutters this spring. That can keep all of the “other things” from leading to bigger issues. While we don’t offer gutter cleaning services, Lawn and Pest Services can assist you with termites, mosquitoes and weed control. Contact us here and we will send a licensed pest technician to give you a quote. As we like to say, you don’t have to live with pests!
Keep Winter Rodents Out
As temperatures continue to drop, you’re more likely to hear the tell-tale scratching of an unwanted guest as mice, raccoons, squirrels, and other rodents search for warmth and food.
A mouse can fit through openings as small as a dime—through the gaps around pipes, vents, cables, and more. Once they’re in, the infestation can become a messy one. It’s best to stop this problem before it happens.
Rodent-proofing your house isn’t difficult.
Manage your garbage.
Rodents have a great sense of smell. Make sure your garbage bins have lids to help contain the smell and, obviously, to make it harder for rodents to get into them. You should also move your garbage cans farther away from your house to make your house less attractive to them.
Additionally, get rid of your garbage as often as possible. The longer it sits around, the stronger the smell becomes. Even if your bin isn’t full by trash day, take it to the street anyway. No food means no rodents.
For bonus points, spray out the inside of your bins now and then to keep them relatively clean.
Keep a tidy yard.
Rodents like tall grass and weeds because of the cover they provide. Eliminating these types of hiding spots will dissuade mice and rats from your yard. Same goes for piles of sticks, and other clutter—these, too, serve as hiding spots for rodents.
If you have a pile of firewood, elevate your logs about a foot off the ground, and store the pile away from your house.
Trim back trees or shrubs that touch your home, so rodents can’t climb their way to entry points they wouldn’t normally be able to reach.
Inspect your exterior.
Take a look at the openings around pipes and utility wires at the points where they enter your home, and seal those gaps. You can do so using pipe sealant or caulk. If the opening is large, you might use an expandable polyurethane foam. All of these tools can be found at your local hardware store.
Make sure the weather strips along your doors and windows are in good repair. Replace strips that are cracked, chipped, or falling apart. Check your vent screens and replace screens that are torn.
Your chimney is a prime entry point for varmints. Invest in a mesh chimney cap to prevent rodents from making a home in, well, your home by coming in through the chimney.
Organize your storage spaces.
Rodents are much less likely to stick around if they don’t have anywhere to hide. Organizing and de-cluttering your storage spaces will minimize these opportunities. Those thick, plastic, lidded storage bins are a great method to keep rodents from ruining your possessions while also tidying up the space.
For even more protection, elevate these bins about a foot off the floor, if possible.
Be conscious of your food.
The holidays wouldn’t be as great without all of the eating—that’s true for rodents, too. Keep your cabinets and cooking areas clean. Store leftovers quickly after dinner and don’t let dirty dishes sit for very long.
Try storing the food in your pantry in sealable containers. The same goes for your pet’s food.
As pests seek warmth during the winter, Lawn & Pest technicians are here to help fortify your defenses with programs like Pest 360. Contact us today for your free assessment, and let our professionals help you get a game plan together to ensure a pest-free holiday.
Benefits of Hiring a Pest Control Professional
When roaches, ants, mice or some other pest enter your home, you probably have considered hiring a professional for help. Seeking the help of a professional in these situations is wise, but you should also consider an ongoing service to prevent these pests as well. Here are some of the benefits and considerations regarding pest control for your home or office.
USE OF FEWER PESTICIDES- Our pest technicians are trained to assess your situation first, and then decide the best course of action. The days of the “bug man” coming in your home and spraying an awful smelling concoction throughout the house are past us. Some isolated pest problems require an aggressive approach, but most situations do not call for spraying throughout your home.
SAVE MONEY- Do-it-yourself methods can become very expensive, especially when you do not have the knowledge of a trained pest professional. Some pests are not responsive to certain insecticides. It is also possible to buy two products to treat the inside or outside of your home that will counteract one another.
PEACE OF MIND- Insect bites and rodent droppings can make you or a family member sick. Worse than that, an improperly applied DIY method can lead to illness for your family and pets. Our pest technicians work to solve your pest problems with the least amount of control products to keep your family and pets safe.
MORE TIME TO ENJOY YOURSELF- We are all pressed for time these days with work, hobbies, kids and other commitments pulling us in different directions. When you hire a pest professional, you will have more time to do the things you enjoy instead of chasing pests from your home.
LESS CLEANING- Have you ever reached for a can of pest spray and fogged the kitchen in an attempt to get rid of ants, roaches or some other pest? Call Lawn & Pest Solutions, and you will not have to worry about that. Pest control techniques have advanced, and we can often control your pest problems without any interior spraying.
BECOME AN EDUCATED CONSUMER- Some pest companies come in, spray as fast as they can and leave. When you trust Lawn & Pest Solutions with your pest control, we will provide you with important information about the pests in or around your home and the places they like to hide. We can offer tips for preventing future infestations.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A PEST PROFESSIONAL?
The best approach to pest control is a scheduled service to keep pests out of your home. Severe infestations may require a monthly visit, but most of the time, we can provide excellent results coming to your home or office every three months. When you start service with Lawn & Pest Solutions, a pest technician will visit your home or office and conduct an assessment along with an initial treatment. This is vital in helping you eliminate pests from your home. You will receive a written report detailing your pest technician’s recommendations and course of action. Once your technician has reviewed this with you, he will perform your initial service which will include exclusion techniques, interior baiting for ants and roaches as needed, sweeping of cobwebs outside and an application outside to exclude pests.
Should you see any pests between scheduled service visits, your pest technician will gladly return at no extra charge to identify and treat the problem. Contact us today if we can answer any questions for you!
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