We love spending time outdoors and opening the windows and doors of our home to let in the summer breezes and sunshine. But oftentimes, unwanted critters find their way indoors, and it can be difficult to get them out.
Dave Luczyski, of Nuisance and Pest Control by Dave, offered tips on controlling pests like ants and bugs inside your home—and reducing the population of annoying mosquitoes and ticks outside, too.
Carpenter ants love the wood inside your home; truthfully, they adore any moisture in your house that softens the wood so they can tunnel out galleries in which to reside.
A telltale sign of an ant infestation is a pile of sawdust. “Compared to termites, who get nutrition from wood, carpenter ants just tunnel through the wood and discard the sawdust,” Luczyski said. Controlling moisture in your house—by repairing leaks and using a dehumidifier in the summer—keeps the “no vacancy” sign legit.
Wasps and bees are a nuisance, and a danger if anyone in the family is allergic. Here, the key is to cut down on the tiny little cracks and openings in your home. “They get in through vents, cracks around windows and the ridge vents on the roof,” said Luczyski. “Any insect doesn’t really need a big hole; they always seem to find a way to get in.”
Like other insects, such as cluster flies and boxelder bugs, wasps and bees like the sunny side of the house—so homeowners should regularly pay close attention to southern-exposure siding and windows, he added.
Eight-legged creatures can be found year-round, but our woodsy areas attract bigger spiders than weekenders and summer-home occupants are used to—like wolf spiders and fishing spiders. They aren’t out to get you, nor are they particularly venomous.
Again, the key is to reduce points of entry into your home. And if one does make its way in, consider trapping it in a container and letting it go outside.
Stink bugs and boxelder bugs are also harmless but unwanted in your living quarters. Trapping (or vacuuming) and releasing them outside is the most humane way to control them. Especially, do not squish stink bugs, as the odor they release will attract more.
Carpenter bees are a special breed of pest. Boring holes into wood for nests, the flying buzzsaws can wreak havoc on decks and structural supports. Luczyski’s company treats the individual holes and plugs them afterward. Carpenter bees like softer wood, so the rule of thumb to keep moisture out of the wood applies here, too.
Bats are docile, mosquito-eating mammals, but we certainly don’t want them inside our homes. “Bats are definitely beneficial, but when they come into a living area, their droppings can become harmful to people with asthma and allergies,” Luczyski says. His company removes errant bats, seals up entryways, and cleans and sanitizes the area. Bat houses, special boxes attached to trees on the property, are anecdotally helpful in keeping bats outside your house.
Mosquitoes and ticks are annoying and potentially harmful. If you want to keep them at bay, you’ve got to keep your property trimmed and clean, according to Luczyski. “If you don’t maintain your property, it’s going to be hard to control insects,” he says. “We have a lot of summer homes up here, and it’s important for the owners to constantly take a good look at their houses so they can spot issues before they become worse.”
Removing sources of standing water—old tires and junk around the yard are big culprits—eradicates mosquito nurseries. And be aware of your birdfeeders and birdbaths, too: If they’re not regularly emptied and cleaned, they’ll collect nasty water that becomes a breeding ground for bugs.
Keep the property free of tall grasses and leaf piles, so you don’t attract tick families. Nuisance and Pest Control by Dave sprays an organic, botanical oil around customers’ yards to kill mosquitoes and ticks so they aren’t as much of a worry.
As you might imagine, this is the busy season for pest control—in addition to the above, homeowners might encounter squirrels, raccoons and even snakes inside their homes. But keep a cool head about it, keep up your home, and call in help when you need it.
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