Keeping your home free of pests is an ongoing task. Common-sense tactics such as regular cleaning and sealing openings are a good start. However, there are some ways insects can infest your home and yard that may not be so obvious, especially if you are new homeowner.
Protect Your Pool From Infestations
While pools are great for recreation and exercise, they require weekly and sometimes daily upkeep to keep them free of bugs. Insects that tend to gravitate to pools include water boatmen, backswimmers, and mosquitoes.
Water boatmen are small brown bugs that are harmless to humans and do not bite. But, they are unsightly and no one wants to swim with bugs in the pool. Backswimmers have a mottled body and also swim in water. They also fly. Unlike water boatmen, backswimmers can deliver a painful bite that is like a bee sting.
These bugs will die once you deliver a chlorine treatment to the pool. However, the quickest way to get rid of them is to skim the pool daily. You can purchase automated skimmers to keep the pool clean instead of manually extracting the bugs with a long-handled skimmer.
Mosquitoes are a more serious problem. It is imperative that you keep you pool clean so that it does not develop stagnant water. Pools with rank water are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
If you go on vacation and come back to a pool with discolored water and thousands of mosquitoes swarming, you need to call a pest control company right away. The professionals will implement an integrated pest management program to eradicate the insects from the pool area and any other place with standing water such as crawl spaces, rain gutters, and nearby debris.
Even if you cover your pool when it is not in use, water can accumulate on the cover, and that shallow deposit of water can also harbor mosquito eggs and larvae.
Get Rid of Stumps and Wood Piles
Termites are the bane of a homeowner's existence. Typically, the pests originate from sources inside the home. However, they can also travel from your yard, little by little, into your home's interior. You can prevent termites from thriving in your yard and then infiltrating your house by heeding the following tips.
- Remove any old stumps and piles of wood from your yard. Stumps and old logs are great homes for termites.
- Make sure that any wooden fencing that you install is pressure treated. This type if wood is insect-resistant. If you move into a home with an older wood fence, make sure to have a pest control expert inspect the fence for termites. If they find termites, get rid of the fence.
- If you store firewood in your yard, do not set the wood next to your house. Termites will travel from the wood to small openings in your house.
Check Christmas Trees for Infestations
When it comes to Christmas trees, there is nothing quite like having a fresh-cut evergreen to celebrate the season. However, the fun of decorating a live tree will evaporate quickly if you discover that the tree has pests that proceed to infiltrate your home.
The most common types of pests that arrive with a live Christmas tree are aphids and spiders. Aphids are tiny insects that are harmless if they die soon after they leave the tree. However, if you have a large swarm of aphids, they can spread to your houseplants.
When aphids infect plants, they use their sucking mouth-parts to suck sap. This can stunt the growth of the plant. Aphid excretions are also the perfect hosts for black mold. You can get rid of aphids by spraying them with mild insecticides you can purchase from a garden store.
In many cases, spiders will also die quickly when they leave the tree. However, if the tree is carrying spiders with eggs that hatch hundreds of babies, you may have a problem. Once the spiders find homes in hard-to-reach places and become a problem infestation, call an exterminator to rid your home of the pesky arachnids.