Pest Infested Real Estate: Let the Buyer Beware

Natural Carpenter Ant RepellentsPest Infested Real Estate: Tragedy to the Unsuspecting Buyer

Who wants to buy and move into a new home, only to find there’s a pest infestation? Imagine moving all your furniture, clothing, food, pets and family into a new home and then discovering you’ve exposed them to cockroaches, bed bugs, rats…etc., and the disease these pests transmit. You’re stuck–you’ve moved out of your former home, you can’t go back. You feel unsafe, like your new home is not really YOUR home. Now you’ve got a battle to wage, while you’re trying to situate your children into their new school, you yourself beginning a new job. New neighbors and family and old friends want to visit you in your new home. What a disaster!

Pest Infested Real Estate: Tragedy Easily Avoided

And the tragedy is that it could have easily been avoided if you’d known the warning signs of pest infestation.    

Let the buyer beware! Here’s some help.

Pest Infested Real Estate: 15 Signs

We came across this list of 15 red flags to look for when renting or buying a home, created by Batzner Pest Management, Inc. of Wisconsin and Illinois.

Why Winter Pest ControlIndoor Signs of Pest Infested Real Estate 

1. Pest Infested Real Estate: Active pests 

This might be quite obvious, but it is very important not to forget. Do some research, and learn to identify different pests in order to understand what type of infestation might be present. Pests are very good at hiding, so be sure to look in places like the kitchen and bathroom, or outdoors under leaves and rocks.

2. Pest Infested Real Estate: Dead bugs indoors 

Check window ledges and basements for dead bugs. If there are many bugs of the same species, they probably live on the property.

3. Pest Infested Real Estate: Pest droppings 

This is classic evidence that a pest infestation may be present. As gross as it may sound, it can benefit you to research what different pest droppings look like, so you can identify what type of pest you may be dealing with. Be sure to also search for roach egg cases and signs of bed bugs.

Natural Rat Repellents4. Pest Infested Real Estate:  Evidence of nesting

Rats and mice will make nests out of whatever they have available to them. Using a flashlight, search all the nooks and crannies, including behind appliances in the kitchen and inside cabinets, for red flags such as shredded paper that might be used for nesting.

5. Pest Infested Real Estate:  Pest control products

Check under sinks and in the garage for large quantities of pesticides. If you find numerous partially-used bottles, there is a chance that the previous homeowner or renter was attempting to deal with a pest infestation.

6. Pest Infested Real Estate: Odd smells and sounds

There are certain recognizable smells that pests give off. Experts claim that bed bugs have a sweet, musty odor. Mice tend to give off a musty, urine smell, and rats smell like ammonia. Roaches have been said to have an “oily” odor comparable to “fecal soy sauce”. I don’t even want to know what that smells like! The smell of garbage is also a bad sign, because it can attract more pests.

It is equally important to keep an ear out for the pattering of rodents’ feet. Rats and mice love to hide under floorboards or behind walls. You might often hear scratching on the walls, gnawing, squeaking, or scurrying. Larger bugs might also be heard if you listen closely.

7. Pest Infested Real Estate: Holes and gnaw marks

Small holes in the walls and floors, or holes in or around the property are a giveaway of a possible infestation. Burrows in garbage areas and weedy areas near the property are also a bad sign. Rats love to gnaw on things, and finding little gnaw marks can be a sign of an infestation. Be on the lookout for chewed-up electrical wires, and other things that rats might have destroyed.

Cockroach Value8. Pest Infested Real Estate:  Grease marks and tracks

Rats and mice tend to travel the same paths every day, and can leave evidence and tracks along the way. Rats run along the walls, and can leave dark grease marks. Fecal droppings, urine trails, and footprints through dust paths may also be seen as a sign of a possible infestation.

9. Pest Infested Real Estate: Signs of termites 

This is an important thing to be aware of, because termites are extremely destructive pests that dine on wood, causing structural damage to a building. These pests can eat your wooden furniture as well, and create unsafe conditions for you to live in. Check the wood in the potential home or rental unit for signs of termite damage. This includes visible holes or sagging floors, and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Shed wings of termites, or fecal pellets that are tan and resemble sawdust may be signs of an infestation.

10. Pest Infested Real Estate: Complaints from former tenants/owners or neighbors

If possible, contact the former owners or tenants to ask about the history of any pest problems. You can also try asking the neighbors if they have ever experienced problems that might affect your property.

Outdoor Signs of Pest Infested Real Estate

11. Pest Infested Real Estate: Nearby breeding grounds

Note if the building is adjacent to an unkept alley with garbage piling up. Also, look for electrical wires hanging in unenclosed areas, as rats and mice love to gnaw on them. Rodents also love to dwell around water and gas pipes. If the property is near a pond, lake, or other stagnant water, this might present a mosquito problem in the warmer months.

Pest Infested Real Estate12. Pest Infested Real Estate:  Damaged plants

Look for insect trails or gnawing on the edges of grass blades and any garden plants. Check the edges of the leaves of any perennials present.

13. Pest Infested Real Estate:  Damaged patches

Patterns of lawn damage, such as uneven grass length or large circular brown areas, may be a sign of a pest infestation.

14. Pest Infested Real Estate: Mole holes

Moles eat insects and grubs, which tend to dwell in grass. When moles are in the grass eating insects, they tear up your lawn in the process.

Look for raised ridges traveling across the lawn, accompanied by piles of dirt that look like a mini volcano.

15. Pest Infested Real Estate: Ant hills 

Check along fence lines and in pavement cracks for piles of coarse grained dirt with a small hole on top. You can often see ants traveling in and out of the hill.

 Credits: 15 signs of Pest Infestations to Look for When House Hunting

Avoid the unexpected, unpleasant surprise of moving into a new home only to find it is infested by pests.

If you suspect a pest infestation in a home you are considering, give us a call and we’ll give it a thorough, professional pest inspection so you can be sure.

After all, the other side of the coin is when you walk away from a what appears to be the perfect home because you suspected a pest infestation when, in reality, you read the signs inaccurately.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Best Commercial Pest Control Strategies

Best Commercial Pest ControlBest Commercial Pest Control: Long-term integrated strategy.

How would it affect your restaurant of hotel’s business if guests were the first to discover a pest problem? Having a long-term pest control strategy is the best way never to face this potential disaster.

“You don’t want to have guests complaining about a pest problem, not only because you could start losing business, but your business could shut down until the problem is taken care of, especially if you are a restaurant with pests.” Credits: Commercial Businesses Are Encouraged To Have Regular Pest

Best Commercial Pest Control: The 5 pillars

A strong proactive pest management program includes for pillars:

  1. Inspection
  2. Identification
  3. Sanatation
  4. Monitoring
  5. Education

Best Commercial Pest Control: Inspection

Mid-Winter Pest Control TreatmentsYou’ll want to customize pest inspection based on the kind of commercial establishment you run. For example, a restaurant, an office building, a hotel and a daycare center each require their own unique customized approach to pest inspection. Each have their particualar pest entry points and “hot spots”, along with specific treatment issues. Additional needs exist where a business operates in multiple sites.

Credits: The Importance of Commercial Pest Control » sugarlandexterminating

Best Commercial Pest Control: Identification

While it’s common sense that bed bugs are more likely found in hotels than in restaurants, there are many other kinds of pests that favor one type of commercial establishment over another. An effective commercial pest control strategy is proactively targeted at the specific type of pest most likely to be a problem for that particular business.

Best Commercial Pest Control: Sanitation

Best Commercial Pest ControlSanitation is more than taking out the trash on a regular basis. It’s the entire system of managing your grounds. It certainly includes emptying the waste bins but it’s so much more. For instance, where is your commercial waste bin located? Is it far enough away from the foundation? Where does your company store mops? They can attract bugs if left wet. What does your breakroom look like? If food is left unsealed, even just over the weekend, it can lead to a major pest problem. Every process of cleaning and refuse removal should be evaluated. Proper sanitation cuts off the food and water supply for most pests so they never become an issue at all. Credits: Long-Term Commercial Pest Control for Businesses in MA

Best Commercial Pest Control: Monitoring

    • Business owners should schedule a pest inspection at least once a year to prevent future infestations.
    • Set up an ongoing maintenance plan with your pest control company so you can prevent closing your business due to pests.
    • Restaurants should conduct regular pest control treatments. They are required to adhere to health regulations, with a large portion of that being pest control.
    • Pest control protects your business’s reputation and reduces the possibility of any disciplinary actions.
    • Bed bugs can also cause an array of issues for hotels. Keep in mind though that bed bugs aren’t the cause of sanitation issues, but brought in by guests. Proper pest control is needed to eliminate bed bugs.

Credits: Commercial Businesses Are Encouraged To Have Regular Pest …

Best Commercial Pest Control: Education

When management and staff are properly educated in pest control issues, potential problems can be more easily avoided. ApolloX Pest Control is happy to educate our commercial clients in measures they can take to help ensure their business is less likely to harbor pests.

Best Commercial Pest ControlBest Commercial Pest Control

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378 

Why Winter Pest Control: Is it Really Necessary?

Why Winter Pest ControlWhy Winter pest control?

Most people assume that pests hibernate during the Winter, emerge in the Spring and multiply during the warmer months. Isn’t it more effective to apply pest control in the Spring when the pests are most active?

Why Winter Pest Control: Heat-Seeking Pests

Some insects are especially attracted to your warm home during the cold months: When the weather cools in the fall, pests like spiders, stink bugs, centipedes, box elder bugs, lady bugs, and others will feel the warmth escaping from small cracks in your home and squeeze their way inside and still be very active.  Credits: 6 Reasons You Need Pest Control in the Winter | Tomlinson
Image Credits: Outside My Window » Winter Is A Great Pest Control System – WQED

Why Winter Pest Control: Rodents

Mice and rats also seek the warmth of your home during the cold months. Mid-Winter is a good time to check and refresh rodent bait stations. Here’s an all-around solid training of rodent proofing:

Why Winter Pest Control: Pest “Hot Spots”

Pest activity often begins and takes hold in certain  “hot spots” like basements, garages and crawl spaces. Mice, termites, earwigs, crickets, spiders and centipedes love these areas. Treating these in mid-Winter gives your pest control program an edge for the rest of the year so you are less likely to need to play “catch up” during the warmer months.

Problems like spiders are more common during the cooler months. Spiders can quickly accumulate in the right conditions. The presence of spider webs could mean that a potential infestation problem is fast approaching. Spiders can really increase their numbers and reproduce quickly. Areas can even become re-infested whenever the eggs hatch. Credits: How to prepare for the winter months | Green Guard Pest Control
Image Credits: How to Manage Your Winter Pest Problem – Lifehacker

Moles Pest ControlWhy Winter Pest Control: The Vole Invasion

Vole problems are at their worse in the Spring. But they start tunneling in the lawn during the Winter in their search for food. This search for food can make freshly stocked bait stations more effective during the Winter.

Why Winter Pest Control: Firewood and Potted Plants

We love our potted plants, and bring them into the home during the Winter so they won’t freeze. Insects can hitch a ride into the home along with the potted plants. Same thing happens with firewood brought into the home.

Why Winter Pest ControlWhy Winter Pest Control: Smallest Crack Becomes a Pest Highway

How big an opening do heat-seeking pests need in order to enter your home to escape from Winter cold?

  • House mouse, 1/4” opening
  • Norway rat, 1/2” opening
  • Adult German cockroach, 1/16” opening
  • House fly, 5/64” opening
  • Mosquito, 3/64” opening

 Credits: Winter demands stepped-up pestcontrol efforts at your restaurant

With the right Winter pest control, a homeowner should be able to enjoy their warm house all Winter long, and not have to worry about sharing their space with unwanted house guests.

Why Winter Pest Control:  Great Time for a Pest Inspection

Perhaps you’d rather be enjoying the Winter holidays instead of checking your home for pests? We’ll crawl into the crawl spaces and brave the spiders so you don’t have to.

Call ApolloX Pest Control 

(888) 499-7378 

Natural Carpenter Ant Repellents

Carpenter Ants HabitsThe number one wood destroying pest in the United States is not the dreaded termite but the often overlooked carpenter ant. They can cause severe damage to the interior structure of a home in as little as a year. 

Natural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Begin by understanding their habits.

Your first line of defense is to understand carpenter ants and their habits.

Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, when outdoors they prey on smaller insects while they like meats and sugars when in your house. The carpenter ant parent colony is always found in a moist piece of wood – this could be outside in a fallen tree that stays relatively wet or inside your home behind the walls near a bathroom or other area that remains humid. The reason for this is that carpenter ants need the moisture to keep their eggs from drying out. Also look in foundations, decks, wood piles near your house, trees, gaps between boards, etc. Credits: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants — Is There a Natural Way?

Carpenter ants don’t carry bait back to their nests, so you have to kill them at the source. This means you have to do a little detective work to find the nest(s).  Credits: How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally – House and Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant ColonyNatural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Diatomaceous Earth

One of the best remedies for eradicating carpenter ants is Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is completely natural and organic. It is made from tiny skeletal remains of algae-like plants.

DE is a lethal dust for insects. Its microscopic razor sharp edges will cut through the body of insects, drying them out and killing them. If ingested by carpenter ants, it will shred their insides. There are different types of DE, so keep in mind you must get food grade DE for pest control. (You do not want the DE that is sold for swimming pools – it has a different make-up.) Credits: How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally – House and Carpenter Ants

Food grade DE is completely safe to be used around kids and pets and can be sprinkled around the home and yard without posing a threat. 

In order to get rid of a colony of carpenter ants, DE must be injected directly into the nest. You might use a medicine dropper to squirt dry DE into cracks where you find carpenter ants nesting. DE must be reapplied after it rains. Credits: How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally – House and Carpenter Ants

Natural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Cornmeal

Spread cornmeal around the area of the nest. Ants that eat the cornmeal will die when they drink water as the cornmeal will expand in their stomachs and burst. Cream of wheat and grits also work this way. Credits: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants — Is There a Natural Way?

Natural Carpenter Ant RepellentsNatural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Boiling Water

Boil several gallons of water and pour them directly on the nest. This is one of the methods that professional pest removal companies use (except they use a steam system). Credits: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants — Is There a Natural Way?

Natural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Borax

Confuse them to the point that they don’t know where your house is. Ants use scent to mark trails so that they and other ants can find their way back to specific places. Along these trails you will see tell-tale signs – salt sized grains of tan debris. Once you have located a trail cover it with borax. Borax is available in the detergent aisle of most grocery stores. Mix a solution of ¼ cup borax to 1 gallon of warm water. Spray this on the ant trail. The borax will eliminate the scent trail. Credits: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants — Is There a Natural Way?

Natural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Household Spices

Make a deterrent powder from some common household spices. Mix 1 tbsp crushed red pepper, 2 tsp cloves, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp garlic powder and 5 bay leaves together in a bowl. Crush them thoroughly and spread a thin line of this mix on any possible ant entry points. This potent mixture will repel even the most stubborn ant. This natural mix can also be wrapped in a cheesecloth and steeped in water for a few days to create a potent spray for use on sidewalks, driveways and other outdoor places that pets and children may frequent (something that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do with toxic ant killers). Credits: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants — Is There a Natural Way?

Natural Carpenter Ant Repellents: Remove habitat

It is important to remove possible habitats on your property including stumps and large unkempt patches of vegetation. There is usually a parent colony and several satellite colonies. Finding the parent colony and disposing of it through natural ant killers will virtually eliminate activity in all of the satellite colonies — they will regroup and most likely move on to more hospitable grounds. Credits: How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants — Is There a Natural Way?

Not an ant detective? Don’t want to spend the time and hassle involved in tracking them down. We can’t blame you if you have other items on your schedule that are more important. Besides, there is an element of trial and error to all of the above solutions. Some people love this. For the rest of you…

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

We’ll get rid of your carpenter ant problem quickly and easily, with no action needed on your part other than calling us!

Natural Termite Repellents

Natural Termite RepellentsNatural Termite Repellents: Why they work.

Over time, plants have developed natural defenses against being eaten by insects. These can include tough leaves, spines and hairs and finally, chemical warfare. The natural defensive chemicals plants produce are relatively inexpensive as opposed to insecticides, each of which can cost upwards of $100 million to develop. And they tend to be safer to the natural environment and the environment of your home.

The drawback is that natural termite repellents may not last as long, can be more difficult to apply and may be more limited in their results.

However, natural termite repellents may be effective in your situation. Here are a few:  

Natural termite Repellents: Aloe Vera, Castor Oil, Mexican Poppy

Aloe Vera: A solution of aloe and water repels termites, when sprayed in their area of activity.

Castor Oil: Mix castor oil seeds, leaves and roots with water and soak it for 24 hours. Then strain the solution and spray on the affected area to repel the termites.

Mexican Poppy: Spraying a mixture of Mexican poppy oil and water around the infested area keeps away termites. Credits: Natural Insect Repellents – HealthStatus

Termites In Your Firewood PileNatural Termite Repellents: Natural Oils

Plants that excrete essential oils like eugenol and citronellal have been identified by many termite-control specialists as significant organic termite repellents. Experts call such plants are Terpenoids. These oils are detested by most termite species. The oils extracted by Terpenoid Plants like the redwood tree and bald cypress can be used to treat the wood materials used in the construction of your house.

It is also very interesting to note that the discovery of such an organic repellent is incidental; scientists were studying why termites do not attack redwood and cypress. What they found out resulted to the usage of essential oils in repelling termites. 

Apart from redwood and cypress, it was also found out that the oil that can be extracted from Kuss-kuss grass (a wild and common grass in Australia) also repels termites and other pests as well (ants and cockroaches). Moreover, the oil extracted from Kuss-kuss grass in very fragrant and it can be used to treat the wood materials of the house while giving off a very pleasant smell that can be aroma theraputic as well. Credits: Termite Extermination FOR BEGINNERS: Organic Termite Repellents

Natural Termite Repellents: Boric Acid

Boric acid can be commercially bought nowadays but in essence, this mineral can be extracted from most fruits and plants. Boric acid is also very abundant in seawater. The mineral became popular for commercial use because of its many uses, especially in preventing and curing skin problems like acne. Many commercial lotions and creams are boric acid-based. The same mineral is also used as a powerful antiseptic.

Termites Pest ControlIt is not very surprising that boric acid can be used in termite eradication too. Since termites do not think and just eat everything that is in their way, a simple application of boric acid in their nest and in the wood materials of the house will be enough to kill termites. When ingested, boric acid acts like a form of poison that kills the microorganisms inside the intestines of the termites (these microorganisms are the ones that disintegrate cellulose which termites cannot do on their own). Naturally, termites will die shortly after the microorganisms die out of boric acid poisoning. Credits: Termite Extermination FOR BEGINNERS: Organic Termite Repellents

If these natural termite repellents are not effective in your case…

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Natural Rat Repellents

Rat PreventionRats and mice in the home are a real annoyance for homeowners, and even a danger. These uninvited creatures consume everything, from your organic tomatoes sitting on the kitchen table, to breadcrumbs underneath the refrigerator, spreading bacteria and pathogens in the process. Credits: Is Natural Pest Control Possible?: Environmentally-Friendly Rodent

Conventional pesticides possess inherent toxicities that endanger the health of the farm operators, consumers, and the environment. For this reason, there is a growing interest in botanical pesticides due to their minimal costs and fewer ecological side effects.

Plants with strong smells act as repellents. They prevent rodents from feeding or gnawing.

Natural Rat Repellents: Eucalyptus Oil

A study presented in volume 2014 of The Scientific World Journal shows eucalyptus oil has some effect in repelling rats. Rodent repellents are chemicals which by taste or odor or possibly by both will prevent animal from feeding or gnawing. Such substances may be used in protecting an area from rodent infestation or in protecting packaged food, packing materials, electric cables, and other important vulnerable materials. 

Natural Rat RepellentsPercent repellency in both male and female rats was apparently more with daily application of 5 and 10% eucalyptus oil. Present studies reveal the potential of eucalyptus oil in repelling away R. rattus; however, further studies may be conducted to enhance the persistence of repellent effect for longer period of time. 

Percent repellency was more when the oil was applied daily and alternatively as compared to when applied once a week indicating low persistence of the repellent effect due to volatile nature of the oil. F Credits: Potential of Eucalyptus Oil as Repellent against House Rat, Rattus

Natural Rat Repellents: Peppermint Oil

Here’s a quick demonstration video in how to use peppermint oil to naturally repel rats:

Credits: How to Use Peppermint Oil to Naturally Repel Rats | ratrelief.com

Put a few drops of peppermint (or spearmint) essential oil onto cotton balls, and leave in cupboards. Use cotton towels, soaked in a solution of mint oil and water. Use ten to fifteen drops of the oil for four cups of water. Ring excess water from the cloth, and then place anywhere that rodents may be entering the home, or spending time. As mice and rats generally come out at night while people are asleep, run an essential oil diffuser for twenty minutes before going to bed. This will spread the aroma molecules throughout the house. 

If possible, plant mint outside the home. Mint grows quickly, and profusely. This will help prevent rodents from being attracted to your house in the first place. Also, you will have an almost endless supply of fresh mint to use indoors as a deterrent. Fresh leaves can be left in problem areas as well. Credits: Is Natural Pest Control Possible?: Environmentally-Friendly Rodent

Natural Rat RepellentsNatural Rat Repellents: Naphthalene Balls

Rats don’t like the smell of naphthalene balls, better known as moth balls. It’s not enough to put these in your cupboards, woollen-storage closets…these need to be replenished and replaced as naphthalene balls shrink with time. Their potency diminishes when they shrink. So be alert and put fresh naphthalene balls out. 

Natural Rat Repellents: Ammonia

Mix one part ammonia with one part water. Soak old socks or a cloth in the ammonia and squeeze out the excess liquid. Place the cloth where the rats are likely to enter the home. Check the cloth at least once a week and replace if necessary. Credits: Drat..Rats! Natural ways to repel rodents | Sass, Sense and

Natural Rat Repellents: Spices

Chilli peppers, cayenne pepper, even Tabasco sauce can be successful as a rat repellent. Sprinkling garlic powder and diced garlic cloves can also do the trick according to ehow.com. The pungency of garlic can make rats feel nauseated and drive them away. Incidentally, garlic oil is also a cockroach-repellent. Credits: Drat..Rats! Natural ways to repel rodents | Sass, Sense and

Natural Rat Repellents: Home made rat poison, harmless to humans.

Natural Rat Repellents2 oz Barium Carbonate
1/2 oz Granulated Sugar
1/2 lb Bread Crumbs

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well, then add a small amount of water to dampen and allow the mixture to be made into small balls that can be placed out for the rodents. Credits: Natural Mice, Rat, and Rodent Repellents – pinkcloudsandangels

Natural Rat Repellents: Sweet Potatoes, Dry Beans, Peanuts

Raw sweet potato forms a cyanide reaction in a rat’s stomach; hence, mixing them with any of your food is a good natural rat repellent. Raw dry beans and peanuts contain nutrients which can kill rats. It blocks the digestive system by aborting the necessary vitamin A and enzymes needed for the rats to digest the protein and starches. This leads causes the red blood cells to cluster and eventually kill the rats.

Credits: Natural Ways To Discourage Rats In Your Home | DEMFY

Natural Rat Repellents: A Clean Home, No Food Source!

Keeping your home clean by eliminating access to all food sources is the best natural rat repellent. Clean floors and counter tops with a solution of water and mint essential oil. Inspect your home and seal off potential rat access points with cement. With a clean minty well-sealed home, rats will have no interest in working to find a way in. 

Natural Rat Repellents: Conclusion

You may find that one or a combination of the natural rat repellents described in this article does the trick for you. If so, great! Let us know about your results.

However, you might just want to avoid the mess and the hassle of preparing, deploying and testing these concoctions one by one, then refreshing the repellents when their potency runs out (they don’t last very long). In that case…

Call the Professionals at ApolloX Pest Control

We’ll take the problem off your hands quickly and easily with no hassle for you!

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378 

 

Termites In Northeastern Firewood Piles

Is it possible to bring termites in with  firewood,  and should I be concerned?

Termites in Northeastern Firewood PilesTermites in Northeastern Firewood Piles: Different Answer 

It appears the answer to this question is different depending on which area of the country you live.

We came across this article and thought it worth sharing to people who live in the Northeastern U.S.

Credits: http://www.colonialpest.com/termites-in-firewood/  

Fire wood being stored inside is common in New England, as retrieving it from under snow and during inclement weather is a hassle.  While firewood may contain certain insects, termites should not be an issue. 

Termites In Northeastern Firewood Piles: Will likely die if brought into the house.

Termite colonies live in the soil and feed on wood that they find within their foraging territory.  If termites were feeding on the firewood outside, it may be possible to bring some of the workers in with the wood(workers find food, build tunnels, and feed the colony).  Workers feeding inside firewood will eventually die without contact with the colony, as well as from desiccation due to lack of moisture. 

Termites in Northeastern Firewood PilesTermites in Northeastern Firewood Piles: If still connected to their colony will live and thrive.

Firewood may serve as food for termites if they find it within the house.   If foraging termites locate wood near a joint or crack in the foundation they will feed on it. 

Termites in Northeastern Firewood Piles: Not as big a problem as spiders, carpenter ants and powder post beetles.

Fire wood may harbor spiders, beetles, centipedes, wood roaches, pseudo scorpions, certain wasp species, and carpenter ants.    Spiders and carpenter ants would be the biggest concern, followed by powder post beetles.

Termites in Northeastern Firewood PilesCarpenter Ant Colonies May Remain Intact

Carpenter ant colonies may reside within wood stored outside, and may be transported inside.  If the colony was in hibernation, they will “wake up” in the warm basement and may move into the house.

Spiders May Become Active In the House

Spiders hiding in firewood will also become active and search for food. 

Powder Post Beetles Can Emerge and Cause Structural Damage

Many species of beetles, including powder post beetles, live in wood.  Some beetle species prefer living trees, others prefer aged wood.  Depending on the type of wood and moisture content, beetles located within the firewood may continue to develop and emerge within the home.  In most cases a beetle hatch from firewood is a one time event, although large  numbers may emerge.  Beetles will die quickly once emerging, and will not usually infest a home.  Powder post beetles may infest wood in damp basements and do cause structural damage if not controlled.  Severe damage takes years to occur.

Termites In Northeastern Firewood Piles: Inspect the Wood Before Bringing it Into Your Home

 

Inspect the wood as it goes in.  Look for obvious signs of insect activity such as live ants, conspicuous holes, sawdust or powder falling from holes in the wood.  Banging it on something may dislodge spiders and insects hiding on the wood or in the bark.  If something looks suspicious burn or discard it.  Termites feeding on the wood may also be visible, usually in wood that was stored directly on the ground. Termites are relatively small, whitish insects, and are always associated with soil or mud used to created tunnels and hold moisture.  Termites will die eventually without moisture and contact with their colony.

Termites in Northeastern Firewood Piles: Guidelines for  stacking the wood.

As the wood is stacked inside, be sure to keep it up off the floor.  This will  discourage foraging termites from locating the wood inside the house.   Termites would need to build visible mud tubes from a crack or joint to the wood.  Make an effort to bring in only enough wood for the winter.   Wood piles that sit for years aging inside should be discouraged.  Once the wood is stacked, inspect it periodically for signs of insects, such as sawdust piles, small piles of powder, and live or dead insects in the area.  Wood that is suspect may be burned or discarded outside. 

Termites in Northeastern Firewood Piles: Pesticides are potentially dangerous.

Treating firewood with pesticides is not necessary, and should never be done due to the risk of contacting toxic compounds in the smoke.  The area around the wood stack may be treated to minimize insect or spider activity coming from the wood.  

Credits: http://www.colonialpest.com/termites-in-firewood/  

Do you think you have a pest control issue related to firewood?

Contact the professionals at ApolloX Pest Control.

We’ll make a positive identification of the suspect pest, and give you specific recommendations for control measures.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378 

Weather Proofing Your Home for Winter

Weather proofing your home can save you thousands of dollars this Winter. Actually, we received this cool infographic from an insurance guy who is in a position to know exactly how much the average homeowner stands to save by weather proofing their home. In fact, there are specific weatherproofing actions you need to take in order to be among those who realize the savings.

Here’s the quick summary list (see the infographic below for more details and research links):

Weather Proofing Your Home Windows

  • Make sure your windows are installed correctly.
  • Add shades or drapes.

Weather Proofing Your Home Doors

  • Use door draft excluders.
  • Fix leaks around doors and windows.

Weather Proofing Your Home Around the House

  • Get a water heater insulating blanket.
  • Insulate your outlets.
  • Add attic insulation.

Weather Proofing Your Home Outside

  • Insulate pipes around the outside of your home.
  • Drain pipes if you’re leaving your home.
  • Inspect your chimney.
  • Trim trees around your home.

Weather Proofing Your Home Against Floods

  • Always have a supply of sand bags available to protect exit doors.
  • Try to keep all electric sockets and electrical appliances as high as possible off the floor.
  • Install non-slip tiling on the ground floor instead of carpets.

Weather Proofing Your Home Through Insurance

  • Check policy warranties.
  • Keep policies updated.
  • Photo inventory all valuables.

In addition, learn what % of damage is on average caused by rain, wind, show, ice and other elements. See the infographic below.

Weather Proofing Your Home Through Getting Smart Advice

When our experts at ApolloX Pest Control inspect a home for pests, we often discover other issues that need attention such as weather proofing. Though it’s best to have your home professionally inspected by a weather proofing expert, we may be able to point out a few of the larger weather proofing issues. After all, who else explores every corner of your home from the crawl space to the attic? Call ApolloX for a pest control inspection and you may discover some additional valuable information about your home.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Weather Proofing Your Home

Credit for this Weather Proofing Your Home infographic: Jim Flannery http://www.balcombes.ie/services/property-insurance/

Natural Spider Repellents

Natural Spider RepellentsDespite the fact that most varieties of spider pose no threat to humans (and given the way they keep the insect population under control we should view them as allies) many people dislike, and even fear them.

Natural Spider Repellents: What makes them work?

Natural spider repellents work because all spiders have their taste buds on the tips of their legs, and there are certain natural oils spiders hate, including citrus, lavender, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, tea tree and cloves. 

Natural Spider RepellentsNatural Spider Repellents: A little more trouble to apply, but they’re safe.

Natural spider repellents have to be applied more often than pesticides, but they are safer for to use in your home and have a pleasant smell.

Natural Spider Repellents #1: Lemon Oil

Add up to 5 drops of essential oil (lemon is my favorite and spiders detest it) and up to 5 drops of dish washing liquid to 1 qt. of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well.

Spray the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders lurk. In addition to having a pleasant aroma, this mixture is nontoxic.

Oils may stain or cause spots, so be sure to test the mixture on a small section of carpet or upholstery before spraying an entire surface.

Reapply the spray once a week during peak “spider seasons.”

Credits: Natural Spider Repellent, Homemade Spider Spray | Seventh

natural spider repellents

Natural Spider Repellents #2: Mint and Lavender

Pots of mint and lavender inside your home on a sunny windowsill will also help deter indoor spiders. Or you can dust your window sills and furniture weekly with a lemon-scented cleaner to help deter spiders.

Natural Spider Repellents #3: Peppermint Oil

Try one of the options below for quick and easy repelling!

Option 1: the cotton ball

Simply place a few drops of Peppermint essential oil on several cotton balls and place in areas where spiders like to be in your home (corners, closets, etc). Add more essential oil when you notice the scent has faded.

Option 2: the spray

Make a simple spray and spray it around baseboards and other places spiders like to lurk!

Natural Spider RepellentsSpider Repellent Spray
-4 oz glass bottle
-4 oz water
-7-10 drops Spark Naturals Peppermint essential oil

Just combine and spray!
 

Credits: Spark Naturals Blog: Natural Spider Repellent

Natural Spider Repellents #4: Clean and Organize

Last, but certainly not least, you can stop a household spider infestation through simple, non-chemical means. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up spiders and cobwebs. Seal cracks in the foundation and close gaps in windows or beneath doorways to deny spiders access to your homes. Spiders thrive in dark, cluttered places, so keep stacks of debris, woodpiles and thick plant growth away from the sides of the house. The fewer places spiders can easily inhabit, the more effectively they can be repelled. 

Credits: Natural Spider Repellent, Homemade Spider Spray | Seventh

Image Credits: The Best Spider Killing Spray and Repellent – spideraway.com

Natural Spider Repellents Warning: Protect Your Cat!

Essential oils can be harmful for cats. Therefore, before using essential oils:

  1. Remove the cat from the room
  2. Ventilate during & after spraying
  3. Avoid spraying areas where the cat likes to hang out (around it’s bed, etc.)
  4. Only let the cat back in after the spray has dried. 

 Credits: Natural Spider Repellent Spray | Managing the Everyday

Even though you may find that natural spider repellents can control or eliminate your spider problems, you may find them to be a hassle. They take time to prepare and apply, applications need to be regularly repeated, and the results aren’t immediate.

For safe, fast and easy spider control, call the professionals at ApolloX Pest Control:

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378

Natural Cockroach Repellents

  • Natural Cockroach RepellentsNatural Cockroach Repellents: Give them a try!

  • Once you see a cockroach, of course, it means that cockroach already has plenty of company. If you’ve had cockroaches before or suspect you might have them, it’s best to take preventative measures. 
  • Natural cockroach repellents are safe, and can effectively control your cockroach problem. This article lists 5 natural cockroach repellent strategies. One of these just might liberate your home from cockroaches!
  • Our first natural cockroach repellent uses cloves and epsom salts.
    • Natural Cockroach Repellents #1: Cloves and Epsom Salts

    • Directions: Mix a handful of cloves with a handful of epsom salts in a shallow dish and place under their favourite hiding spots, such as dishwashers, fridges, sinks and washing machines. Just to be sure, a few drops of clove oil in corners and cupboards should keep them away, too. Credits: DIY Natural Cockroach Repellent — Homelife | Apartment Therapy
    • Natural Cockroach RepellentsNatural Cockroach Repellents #2: Cedar

      The cedar tree is famous for its biological components and oils that offer resistance to many insects and other pests.  You can also make use of these properties and oils by using cedar veneers, blocks, chips dust and cedar balls by using them as lining fro drawers, cabinets and wardrobes. You can also use them as paneling to line closet walls, for enhanced protection.

    • Natural Cockroach Repellents #3: Moth Balls

      Moth balls have been used for a long time to repel moths. Like moths, roaches don’t like the smell of moth balls. The common usage is to place a couple of the moth balls behind your cooker to keep the roaches from hiding around there. You may also have several in the cabinets and also under the sink and any other place where roaches make home.  They are very effective and can be useful for as long as they remain there.  Moth balls are however not supposed to be used near food or food preparation areas as they are not good for humans.

      Natural Cockroach RepellentsNatural Cockroach Repellents #4: Red Pepper Spray

    • Red pepper is a common ingredient in insect repellents. Cockroaches detest red pepper and they will easily avoid coming near its smell. You need to spray on all spaces in the kitchen, bathroom, wardrobes and any other hiding places to have maximum impact. You can make this spray at home by mixing red pepper, vinegar and water. You then need to spray and leave it for some time to dry if you need to wipe. If you need to wipe, do not use a wet cloth as it may wipe away the residual smell that is necessary for continued protection.

       Credits (#2-4 above): Effective Cockroach repellents For your Home – City Best Pest Control

Natural Cockroach Repellents #5: Tea Tree Oil, Mint, Bay Leaves and Cucumbers

  • Cockroaches hate Tea tree oil, mint, bay leaves, and cucumbers.
  1. Add 25 drops of mint essential oil in 1 cup of water. Put the solution a spray bottle. Spray under kitchen cabinets, cracks, hard to reach areas and doors. Repeat once a week.
  2. Place bay leaves in your pantry, kitchen cabinets and closets.
  3. Rub tea tree essential oil on shelves, baseboards and infested area. Add end of cucumbers at corners of room and shelves until cucumbers are shriveled.
  4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous dirt in cracks and holes.
  5. Cockroach trap: Get the roaches drunk. Fill about a quarter of an old bottle with beer and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Leave in infested area. Replace when full of cockroaches. The stale beer is a cockroach attractant similar to the pheromones they use to signal each other for food. Once they fall into the bottle, they will not be able to escape. The beer is safe for pets and children.
  6. NOTE: Keep your house as clean as possible. Vacuum daily. Mop floors daily with 1 part white distilled vinegar and 5 parts warm water. (until cockroaches are gone).

 Credits: DIY aggressive cockroach repellents – Step Into My Green World

Natural cockroach repellents aren’t always effective. If the above repellents don’t eliminate your cockroach problem, or if you’d just like to avoid the hassle and mess of placing leaves, bowls and jars around your house…

…call the pest control professionals at ApolloX Pest Control.

We’ll quickly and safely control your cockroach problem.

Call ApolloX Pest Control

(888) 499-7378