Pests Everywhere!

Summer is a time for family fun with outdoor activities such as picnics and grilling.  However, it’s also the time of year where pests are out in full force and can become a nuisance, from ants crawling in through a crack in your foundation to raccoons scavenging through your trash.  As cute as some of the pests are (here’s looking at you, squirrels), the moment they become an annoyance they have to be gotten rid of.

Our Furry Friends 

Squirrels are playful creatures who love you if you have snacks for them, but will then give you a headache when they move into your attic.  Usually they get into your home by a gnawing on a soft spot in the roof or side of the house.  They enjoy the warm, dry air that your attic provides but obviously you do not enjoy their company.  Squirrels are most active during the day, so in order to evict these critters, you’ll have to take action during daylight hours.  You will have to cover/patch the hole that is their entryway and hope they don’t try to move back in.  If they are persistent you may have to get an exterminator out to tell them it’s time to go.

Raccoons, on the other hand, enjoy getting into any sort of goodies left on or near the ground.  There isn’t a real way to completely banish them from your yard, but you have to figure out what is tempting them and take away or reduce that stimulus.  Garbage cans are a buffet for these masked bandits and probably the cause of the most aggravation.  In order to keep raccoons out of your garbage, you will either have to keep your cans in the garage until trash day or find a way to keep them closed and secure (heavy items on top, bungee cords, etc.) 

Creepy Crawlers

Ants are everywhere, unfortunately, and are definitely some of the most annoying insects out there.  They are so small and in such great abundance that the line of them seems never ending.  There isn’t a lot you can do when ants are crawling in your potato salad on a picnic, but there are a few ways to prevent and defend them in your home.  Ensure there aren’t any cracks in your foundation and if there are, seal them with caulk.  Ants also tend to like vegetation and are less likely to invade your home if you have gravel or stones around your foundation.  If they do get in, there are always sprays you can buy or you can try a homemade remedy.  Spraying a mixture of water and dish soap kills and prevents ants, as does sprinkling cayenne pepper (who knows why, but these things do work!)

Termites aren’t quite as easy to get rid of once you have them.  One sure fire way to know if there are termites around is to locate their dirt tunnels outside.  You can stomp the tunnels down to help slow them down, but termites are determined creatures and if they want in, they will get in.  Termites look for soft wood and easy ways to get in and unfortunately a lot of times you won’t know you have been infested until too late.  Unfortunately it is difficult for homeowners to treat termites, so experts do have to be brought in most of the time.  

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