Category Archives: Lawn Care Advice

Keeping pests out of a shed (411)

While residents may notice a pest infestation in their homes early on, bugs and rodents can harbor in yard sheds and storage structures for a while before their presence becomes apparent. Especially during winter months, pests look for food and shelter in humid, covered areas. If homeowners suspect unwelcome visitors, they should contact a pest control professional promptly. However, there are several steps homeowners can take to limit the chances of an infestation.

Prepare from outside in
Wood dwelling critters like termites can severely damage the foundations, walls and roofs of garden sheds. If these bugs aren't dealt with quickly upon first notice, they can cost homeowners hefty sums in repair and replacement fees. It's therefore essential to eliminate elements that attract the pests.

Because rats, mice and many creepy crawlers can enter structures through seemingly tiny holes, it's a good idea to seal up any crack or crevices in external walls, foundation and piping.

Pests are lured by moisture and standing water. It's always important to clean up water and other liquid spills promptly. To eliminate humidity, residents should inspect external and internal faucets and eliminate any leaks in pipes and valves. Homeowners may also consider purchasing a dehumidifier to dry up the shed's interior.

Because a lack of ventilation can foster the stuffy environment many bugs are used to, it's a good idea to place a fan in larger storage structures. Homeowners may also consider opening and closing shed doors every day or so to let fresh air in.

Watch what you store
Sheds can be a great place to keep gardening tools, infrequently used appliances and other household items. However, residents should be very cautious about what they store.

Moths, beetles and other pantry pests can get into dry foods and grain, endangering residents and causing headaches for those whose products are destroyed. Meanwhile, rats and raccoons can contaminate pet food, putting furry friends at risk of bacterial diseases.

Dry products and soil should always be stored in an airtight container and inspected frequently and before use for signs of pests, such as dropping, larvae and rips or holes in packaging. Items like holiday decorations, clothing and bedding that are placed in a shed should be cleaned thoroughly and sealed in bins. Cooking appliances should also be effectively cleaned and free of food residue.

Firewood should never be kept in or near sheds. It's best to place it outdoors on a platform to keep pests away. Meanwhile, if a trash bin is kept inside the shed, residents should empty it frequently.

Don’t let pests sneak in this winter

Many homeowners are preparing their residences for winter and potential bug infestations due to the cold weather. It's important to seal up cracks, repair ripped screens and ensure the areas surrounding windows and doors don't have any crevices that the cold wind or an unwelcome pest could penetrate.

Even though most homeowners think they're doing everything they can to protect their residence from bugs, insects can still find their way inside and cause problems. If residents are finding pests in their home during this chilly time of year, it could be  because they are failing to properly inspect their firewood, in which the bugs are hitching a ride inside on wood stored in the backyard.

Pests can lurk in firewood
On an autumn day, it may seem like a great idea to grab some wood from the yard, and enjoy a warm fire to ward off the seasonal chill. However, the lumber homeowners are bringing inside could be covered with insects, and if it's not checked properly before being brought inside, it could result in a pest infestation. As the holiday season approaches, many homeowners may be expecting guests and not have the time or resources to deal with an insect issue.

There are plenty of unwelcome critters that can hide in firewood, waiting to be brought into a home. Two common ones are box elder bugs and Asian lady beetles, while stink bugs are another problematic pest to look out for.

Avoiding the problem
Those who like to enjoy their fireplace during the fall and winter need to take the proper precautions before bringing any logs into their homes. A single piece of wood could contain unwelcome pests that could pose a threat to a home.

Most homeowners don't chop their own wood, preferring to purchase it elsewhere. Being a responsible buyer is critical to preventing bug issues, so residents need to be prepared to ask questions when making a wood purchase. Buyers should always inquire as to where the wood came from. Some areas are infested with insects that live in firewood, and bringing those pests home can threaten an entire yard once the weather warms up.

Accidentally bringing wood covered with bugs into a home can also cause problems – especially if the logs are covered in stinkbugs, which can be a real nuisance to homeowners. If some unwelcome critters do manage to get into a home, it's important to call pest control professionals to handle the situation.

Pest control tips for gardens

Many homeowners have to deal with pests and the issues they bring with them. Oftentimes, these homeowners require the services of pest control professionals to remedy the situation, but that doesn't mean there aren't any tactics the homeowner can employ to help deal with the issue.

In a recent piece for the Paxton Record, Marc Amore, an area pest control expert, provided some useful information on how gardens and insects can help in pest control situations.

"People have been using plants and the chemicals that they create as pest control for several hundred years," Amore wrote for the news source. "One of the first plants used for pest control, was the extract of the tobacco plant, nicotine. It was used by the Dutch in the 1600s. Another example is the chrysanthemum flower, from which pyrethrum is derived, and is still used commonly to this day. So this is not a new concept."

Amore went on to list a number of herbs that can be planted among the vegetables in any garden that will go toward reducing the number of pests present there.

Anise can be effective in dealing with snails, slugs and aphids; oleander for codling moths; borage for tomato heart worms and cabbage worms; cloves for spider mites, cowpea curculio and squash vine borers; and mint for aphids, ants, flea beetles, beetles, important cabbage worms, squash bugs, rodents and white flies.

Amore added that there are a number of vegetables that can be useful in warding off pests. These include potatoes, horseradish, lettuce, radish and onions. Also, flowers known to contain properties that lend themselves to pest control efforts include marigold, petunia and geranium.

Don't hesitate to contact the professionals
Although herbs, flowers and gardens themselves can help with pest problems, homeowners with gardens who are having trouble getting on top of an infestation should contact a pest control professional. Licensed pest control experts use only certified and approved equipment and pest control tactics that will effectively get rid of any infestation problem in a timely manner.