What do you think about when you think of summer? Vacations, hot temperatures, sunscreen, spending time with family, hanging out in the backyard, and mosquito bites?
While there are a lot of reasons why most people enjoy the summer months, backyard pests are not one of them. Each year, people take on the great outdoors during summer months only to find themselves back inside once bugs start making it unbearable.
Here are a few tips to help you take back your backyard!
PREVENT BUGS FROM MAKING A HOME IN YOUR YARD
Using a number of prevention or exclusion techniques is probably one of the best ways to keep bugs out of your lawn and your home.
Start out by removing any areas with standing water. Check to see if there are any buckets, trash containers, or items that may be gathering water. Remove the water and try your best to keep these items from filling back up. It’s also a good idea to keep your gutters clean. Clogged gutters often fill up with water and create a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes.
In addition to standing water, it’s also a good idea to remove any trash and debris from around your lawn. Pests and insects love hiding places, and by keeping your yard as tidy as possible, it eliminates places for them to build nests and congregate.
ADD A FEW ITEMS TO YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE
Do you have an outdoor living area like a gazebo or patio with table and chairs? If so, you may want to look into making a few additions to your outdoor space.
Add a Fan
Did you know that mosquitoes are not strong fliers? That’s right! Adding a small fan will not only give you a nice breeze during the summer heat but a fan can also help keep mosquitoes away. Fans also help keep the smells from the grill or your food away from the eating area and can greatly reduce the number of flying insects who want to see what’s for dinner.
Insects are attracted to bright lights. If you use a light in your outdoor area at night, you should try changing out the bulbs to a yellow or LED light bulb. The yellow light keeps most insects from attacking the bulb and invading your space.
Get a Green Thumb
Most insects and pests are attracted to certain areas because they offer either food or shelter. The smell of burgers on the grill or a nice sweet tea is enough to send out an invitation to all bugs to come and visit. By covering up the smells or replacing the enticing aromas with a smell that pests find unattractive, you create an environment that is not very welcoming to bugs.
A good way to do this naturally is by using plants that are considered natural bug repellents. There are quite a few plants out there that can do this. Some are even supposed to keep away other critters like spiders. Here are a few of the natural bug repellent plants. They include lemongrass, lavender, basil, garlic, marigold, and catnip.
Most people already have citronella candles and torches ready to go once outside temps rise above 75 degrees. This is a popular option for many people because citronella is safe and non-toxic to human and animals.
Essential oils are also another alternative. Specific oils are known to repel certain bugs. Peppermint and lemon repel mosquitos. Rosewood and thyme repel ticks and tea tree and lavender are said to repel fleas.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PEST CONTROL SERVICE
Bugs are no joke during the summer. And bugs that bite, like mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and ants, can ruin a special summer outing. If you have tried a variety of different things you’ve seen posted by friends on Facebook and you’re still getting bite after bite, it may be time to call in the professionals.
At Hopper Termite & Pest, we are your go-to backyard bug zappers. Our technicians are trained in the latest methods for getting rid of mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and any other pests that may be keeping you from enjoying quality time with friends and family and getting a little fresh air.
We are certified both in Arkansas and Missouri. From Fayetteville to Mountain Home and everywhere in between, Hopper Termite & Pest is here to help eliminate your bug problem and give you peace of mind. To schedule a FREE PEST EVALUATION, give us a call at 1-888-863-0206. Let our highly trained technicians visit your property and create a plan specific to your location and needs.
Is that a termite or a carpenter ant nest? Do ants fly out of holes in the ground? Why does that ant look so weird?
When it comes to pests that can potentially destroy your home, many homeowners are on high alert when they come in contact with anything that resembles wood damage caused by a termite. While the termite is the most destructive wood eating insect, there are other pests that are also known to damage wood. They include the wood borer, bark beetle, carpenter ant, and carpenter bee.
Most of these other wood damaging insects are more of a nuisance. However, the carpenter ant is an insect that homeowners should also put on their radar. They don’t exactly cause the amount of damage that termites cause each year, but they are known to cause pricey damage if their numbers are not managed.
And when it comes to getting rid of bugs and pests in your home, the first thing is to know what kind of pest you are dealing with. Here are some differences to help you distinguish between a termite and a carpenter ant.
THE DIFFERENCE IN DAMAGE BETWEEN A CARPENTER ANT AND A TERMITE
Yes, termites do cause more damage than carpenter ants. However, it is how they cause the damage that is the cause for concern. Termites consume wood and products containing wood. Wood is their primary source for survival and they eat wood 24/7/365. They don’t even sleep between rounds of eating.
Carpenter ants don’t eat wood. The damage they cause to wood is due to them creating tunnels. Because carpenter ants must leave their wooden tunnels to find food, homeowners are more likely to actually see a carpenter ant. And since termites never have to leave, you may never even realize that you have a termite problem until it is too late.
THE DIFFERENCE IN APPEARANCE BETWEEN A CARPENTER ANT AND A TERMITE
Carpenter ants and termites are very different in appearance. Like most ants, carpenter ants have a cinched waist. These ants are usually black or brownish-black in color. You may also see them flying around during the times of year that they are swarming.
Termites don’t look anything like ants. They have a more rounded like body and are pale in color. And because they stay within their colonies and inside the wood they are consuming, chances are high that you are actually seeing a carpenter ant. However, most people do see termites when they are swarming and looking for a nice area to set up their next colony. Since carpenter ants also swarm, people often get the two confused.
CARPENTER ANTS AND TERMITES ATTACK YOUR HOME DIFFERENTLY
Termites and carpenter ants both live underground. Subterranean termites tunnel underground in search of food. When they come to a wooden structure that is above ground, they create mud tubes to gain access. These mud tubes can be seen in crawl spaces, on the exteriors of your home, and even on interior walls.
Carpenter ants leave their underground sanctuary in search of food. Unlike termites, they don’t rely on moisture and mud tubes in order to gain access.
HOW TO GET RID OF CARPENTER ANTS AND TERMITES
So, you think you may have a carpenter ant or termite colony in your home. What do you do? For carpenter ants, you want to start out by sealing up all of your food, clean surfaces, and make sure that the dog’s food is put away and sealed after they eat. Like most ants, carpenter ants are in search of food. By sealing up food and any small crevices, you can prevent most bugs from coming inside including carpenter ants. If you think you have a termite problem, it is best to call the best professionals. You don't want to risk your home.
Preventing and getting rid of pests are two different things. If you think your home or business has been infested with carpenter ants or termites, please give Hopper Termite & Pest a call today to set up a FREE PEST EVALUATION. Our trained technicians can easily tell the difference in termite damage versus damage caused by carpenter ants. Whether you are in Arkansas or Missouri, we can create a plan of action to get rid of these bugs before major damage is caused.
To learn more about termites, download the termite guide located on our homepage.
You finally did it. You picked up the phone, called Hopper Termite & Pest, and you are now scheduled for bed bug extermination. Making the call was a big step in getting rid of bed bugs. However, your work is just beginning.
When it comes to exterminating bed bugs, homeowners play a huge part in the success of the treatment. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your home for the professionals.
CLEAN UP AND PICK UP AROUND YOUR HOME
If your house is already spotless and clean, then you can skip this step. However, the majority of homes could use a little clean up and pick up. Clutter provides hiding places for bed bugs and it also makes the process of extermination longer. Toss items that you don’t need or use and double bag loose items that need to be inspected and possibly treated.
WASH, DRY, AND REPEAT
There are a lot of things that will need to be put in the washer and/or dryer. Start with your closets. Then, move onto the bathroom and bedrooms. You want to wash all linens, clothes, curtains, stuffed animals, or any fabric related items on the hottest water setting available. Once you are finished, don’t just put them back in the closet or on shelves. Places the items in new plastic containers that can be closed tightly.
You don’t want to leave any items in your closets. Take clothing items that cannot be washed to the dry cleaner and place all loose items like shoes in new plastic bags or new sealable plastics containers.
EMPTY IT ALL OUT
Go through the drawers in your nightstands, side tables, and any other drawers you have. If they hold clothes, then go through the same process of washing, drying, and storing in a clean container or trash bag.
For miscellaneous items, inspect for signs of bed bugs and then place them in a clean container to be treated later. Bed bugs love to get into little nooks and crannies and your “stuff” has a lot of hiding places.
MOVE IT! MOVE IT!
Once you have moved all of your clothes and miscellaneous items, it should make the next step a little easier. You will need to move all furniture at least two feet from the wall. This gives technicians easy access to walls and baseboards that need to be treated.
You will also want to remove all paintings, pictures, clocks, and decor. These items will need to be inspected and treated.
BE PREPARED TO LEAVE YOUR HOME
For bed bug treatment to be successful, it is necessary that no one enters the home for at least four hours after the treatment. This also includes pets. It is very important that you plan to be out of the home. Plan a small getaway to the bowling alley, go shopping, or be a tourist in your town for the day and visit places you have never been able to visit.
HOPPER TERMITE & PEST IS HERE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
These are just a few of the main steps that need to be taken in order to properly prepare your home for bed bug treatment and extermination.
This may also seem like a lot of work, but not taking proper measures to prepare your home for bed bug treatment could cause reinfestation. Look at the bright side. Not only are you getting rid of bed bugs, but your home is getting a nice deep clean.
For more information on how we treat bed bugs, visit http://hopperenvironmentalservices.com/services/bed-bugs/blog. You can also give Hopper Termite & Pest a call at 1-888-863-0206 if you have any questions.
Buying a new home can be stressful. Many spend hours researching and going over the details such as finding the perfect neighborhood or how close their job is to a potential new home. However, many don’t necessarily think of pests and termites when they are about to move into a new home.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry. Here are some ways that a simple phone call to Hopper Termite & Pest can help prevent termites and termite damage in your new home.
PREVENT TERMITES IN NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION
When it comes to building a new home, people go the extra length to make sure everything is perfect. From the type of flooring to put in each room to the type of door handles, there are a lot of things to consider and decisions to be made before the keys can be handed over.
One thing that can get passed up in all the planning of your dream home is protecting your future home from termites. This is especially important if your home is constructed primarily of wood. If you want to play it safe, you can have your new home pre-treated for termites as it is being constructed. This allows wood that is normally covered by drywall, insulation, and other building material to be treated to better aid in termite prevention.
TERMITE INSPECTIONS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN
Not everyone starts out with a brand new home. There are many who buy homes that are already built. During the process of purchasing a new home, buyers sometimes experience overwhelm with all of the things they need to do in order to get their mortgage loan approved.
One of the required tasks is setting up a termite inspection. At Hopper, we perform hundreds of these inspections each year. Not only do we have the experience, but our inspectors are highly trained, qualified, and licensed by the state. Our inspectors are also trained to look for more than just termites. We also look for other wood eating insects such as carpenter ants and carpenter bees that can also cause major damage to wooden structures.
HOMEOWNERS HAVE THE FINAL SAY IN TERMITE TREATMENT
If you are in the process of building a new home, it’s important to communicate with your contractors. When it comes time to pre-treat and spray the home for termites, many contractors will either use a company they consistently use or someone who is cheaper. If you have a choice or preference for a termite company, it’s important to let your contractor know.
You also have a choice if you purchased a pre-built home. If the previous owners had a termite treatment contract prior to you purchasing the home, you should know that you do NOT have to stick with the same company for termite protection. The choice for termite treatment is up to the current homeowners.
GET RID OF TERMITES WITH HOPPER TERMITE & PEST
Whether you need a professional termite home inspection in order to proceed with closing on the home of your dreams or you think you may have termites, give Hopper a call today to schedule a termite inspection. After a thorough inspection has been completed, we will go over the best termite treatment plan options that are designed specifically for your structure, where it’s located, and the degree of infestation.
When treating termites, we use the most up-to-date equipment and environmentally responsible materials, such as Termidor®, to get rid of termites. Depending on the level of infestation, other suggestions may be made in order to fully treat and get rid of termites.
To learn more about our Termite Protection Plan, visit http://hopperenvironmentalservices.com/services/termite-treatment/blog. And if you have any questions about getting your property inspected or how to get your home pre-treated as it is being built, then feel free to give us a call at 1-888-863-0206.
Gutters. Most homes have them installed and many can agree that they are a headache to properly maintain. What most people don’t understand is that cleaning out your gutters is about more than checking a task off your to-do list.
Here are a few things you should know about your gutters and why keeping them cleaned out is important for your home, your family, and an overall healthy environment
CLOGGED GUTTERS ARE A BREEDING GROUND FOR PESTS
Clean gutters collect rainwater and direct it away from your home. However, clogged gutters tend to collect more than just rainwater. In the spring when it rains more than usual, it’s easy for clogged gutters to have stagnant water. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes, roaches, gnats, and ants.
In addition to having plenty of water after a rainy day, clogged gutters also provide shelter for many pests and small animals. Twigs, pine needles, leaves, and other debris piles up forming the perfect nesting environment. Having these animals, rodents, and pests build nests so close to your home is dangerous, and these creatures will have easy access to your attic and your home.
CLOGGED GUTTERS CAN CAUSE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS
If getting rid of bugs around your home wasn’t enough of a reason to clean out your gutters, then you also need to think about the structural damage that can be caused by clogged gutters. Standing water and water running off at different points or towards the home can cause the wood around windows, doors, and fascia boards to rot. Not only does this affect the structure of your home, but rotting wood also attracts termites and carpenter ants. These pests alone are worth keeping your gutters clean since they can completely destroy your home.
Excess water around the perimeter of the home can also cause the foundation to weaken and crack. Not only is cracking foundation a structural issue, but cracks are easy access points for bugs.
WAYS TO KEEP YOUR GUTTERS PEST FREE
First and foremost, clean out your gutters and clean them often. If your home is located under several trees where debris can easily blow in, it may be necessary to do this once a month. You may also want to look at how close trees and large bushes are to your home. By trimming or cutting down trees and bushes that are close, you can prevent leaves, twigs, and branches from building up so often in your gutter system.
If you are not able to clean your gutters on a regular basis, you may want to look into gutter protection systems or gutter shields. With gutter protection system in place, debris stays out of the gutters and water can flow freely. If you are still noticing standing water, then check how the gutters are hanging. If a bracket becomes loose and lowers the gutter, the angle may be keeping water from flowing properly.
INSECTS? RODENTS? HOPPER TERMITE & PEST CAN HELP YOU BE BUG-FREE
Hopper Termite & Pest may not be able to clean out your gutters, but we can help you out if you discover harboring insects, rodents, and wildlife. Our highly trained technicians have experience dealing with a variety of pests and even wild animals. We can safely remove whatever is calling your gutters their new home and give you recommendations on moving forward.
Give Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. a call today at 1-888-863-0206 to schedule your FREE PEST EVALUATION.