Summer and early fall is a time to relax, spend time outdoors, and enjoy the company of family and friends you don’t get to see very often. Days are filled with spending time in the water and nights are full of smells of the grill and cooking s’mores. It’s also a time where you may have more wildlife than usual paying you a little visit.
Most wildlife will do what it takes to get to food, water, and shelter. And if your home is providing what these critters need without hassle, then your home may become a target.
Here are a few ways you can control wildlife and keep the pests out of your home and business.
BLOCK WILDLIFE FROM GAINING ENTRY
The best wildlife pest control is preventing wildlife from gaining access to your home in the first place. By using a few exclusion techniques around your home and property, you can greatly reduce the chances of wildlife creatures and rodents from coming into your home.
Start out by scanning the perimeter of your home. Look for any cracks in the foundation, holes in window screens, torn weather stripping, and loose vent coverings. Repairing these little items can make a big difference. If you have a lot of bushes or greenery surrounding your home, it is also advised to trim them back. Most rodents and wildlife are great climbers and use bushes and trees close to homes to gain access.
CLEAN THE KITCHEN
One of the main reasons why a wild animal has come to visit usually has to do with them needing food, water, or shelter. Your kitchen provides all three. Keep counters and cabinets wiped clean. And after cooking or grabbing a snack, make sure that food is put away and sealed.
Not only does food attract animals, it also attracts insects like roaches.
CLEAN UP AFTER PARTIES
When the weather is just right, it is almost impossible to stay indoors. If you are someone who loves having family and friends over for food, drinks, and fun, make sure you clean up afterward. This means picking up all trash, putting away all food, and cleaning any outside cooking areas like your grill or bar.
It’s also important to put your trash inside of a bin that can be tightly closed and preferably placed inside of a garage or shed until it is time to be picked up by local sanitation crews. Those who leave full garbage cans out at all times could be sending a loud and smelly message to wildlife that your property has food. Raccoons and skunks love to get in your trash to find food for themselves and their young. They also have good memories and tend to keep coming back night after night if nothing is done about it.
Wildlife like raccoons and skunks are also curious animals. They may get tired of your trash and may want to see what’s inside your home. Outdoor trash also invites rodents and insects searching for their next meal.
MAINTAIN YOUR ROOF
With all of the things you have to do inside of your home and in your yard, there is one place on your property that often gets overlooked or put on the back burner. YOUR ROOF. How many times have you said that you are going to clean out the gutters or replace a few shingles?
While maintaining your roof is not on your list of things to do on a regular basis, it should be.
Most people who experience wildlife and rodent infestations later discover that these pesky critters gained access to their home through rooftop ventilation, storm-damaged areas, and other weak areas. In order to keep wildlife from moving into the attic, make sure that you take the time to inspect your roof at least twice a year and make any repairs.
HOPPER CAN HELP YOU REMOVE WILDLIFE FROM YOUR HOME
In addition to treating your home for termites and getting rid of scorpions and brown recluse spiders, Hopper Termite & Pest can also help with wildlife removal and wildlife control.
Wildlife Control Program Includes: Bats, Birds, Moles/Voles, Squirrels, Racoons, Skunks, Opossums, Groundhogs, and Snakes.
Whether your wild friend paid you a visit in the early morning hours or you just cannot figure out what that sound is coming from your attic, give Hopper Termite & Pest a call. Our technicians are highly trained and know just what to look for when trying to discover hiding places and entry points. And once we find the culprits, we have the tools necessary for safe and effective wildlife removal.
You probably thought that since our area of the country experienced a cold winter with many days being below freezing that pests wouldn’t be such a problem. The reality is that most insects can withstand a harsh winter environment. This includes the tick. In fact, ticks don’t die in the winter, they just go dormant until temperatures rise above a certain point, or they latch on to an animal to keep warm and fed.
With the recent reports of the Longhorned tick being discovered in Arkansas, most people have ticks on their radar...and they should. Here are a few tips to keep ticks out of your home and yard and what to do about ticks you find on your body.
TICKS, TICKS, AND MORE TICKS
In early June, ticks made headlines here in Arkansas. A Longhorned tick was discovered on a dog in Benton County. There are only three other states where the Longhorned tick has been identified. Why is this tick so concerning?
The Longhorned tick reproduces at a quick rate. Females can even reproduce without a male partner. They are also very small in size. And for those who raise livestock, this particular tick has been known to cause stunted growth and even death in livestock.
And like other ticks, the Longhorned tick is also known to transmit bacterial diseases like Lyme disease. Certain types of ticks in Arkansas are known to spread bacterial diseases and illnesses such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and more. From flu-like symptoms to keeping your chronically ill for a very long time, tick bites can cause more than just an annoying itching spot on your body.
GET RID OF TICKS IN YOUR YARD AND HOME
While ticks can cause some horrible infections and diseases, the good news is that you can prevent the spread of tick bites and tick-borne diseases. Here are a few things you can do to keep ticks from making your home their home.
Mow the Yard
For most people, this is a must during the summer months. Most ticks prefer long, thick grass to hide out in. It’s also a good idea to remove any piles of leaves and cut down any thick bushes. You also want to make sure that you don’t have several plants and bushes near the house since this is how most pests easily gain entry into your home.
Get Rid of Rodents
Most ticks require a certain level of humidity in order to thrive. This is good news for homeowners because most ticks cannot survive inside of a home due to the lack of moisture. However, if you have a rodent problem, then ticks may find it easy to gain entry into your home and possibly survive long enough to pose a problem.
Use Plants that Deter
Like the smell of citronella is used to keep mosquitoes away, certain types of plants are used to keep ticks away. Try planting sage, mint, lavender, and eucalyptus around areas where you and your family like to spend quality time outdoors. Not only will you have a fresh aroma all around, but it could keep some of those ticks away.
REMOVE TICKS FROM YOUR BODY
Keeping ticks out of your lawn in one thing. It’s another thing to keep ticks off your body. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Wear insect repellent.
- Cover your body. It may be hot, but clothing can keep ticks from latching on to your body.
- Take a shower immediately after coming inside, especially if you have spent time near tall grass.
- Check for ticks on a regular basis. The sooner you are able to remove a tick, the better your chances are of NOT getting a tick-borne illness.
- If you find a tick, remove it carefully and try not to squish it if possible. Remember to wash the area of the bite and your hands immediately after.
CALL THE PROFESSIONALS AT HOPPER TERMITE & PEST
Not only are ticks annoying pests, but they can put you and your family at risk of developing serious health issues. Don’t just prevent ticks and tick bites, call in the professionals to eliminate ticks from your home environment.
With a free pest evaluation, our trained technicians can inspect your property and give you solutions for eliminating pests such as ticks and more. We two offices, located in Mountain Home and Springdale, Hopper Termite & Pest is able to provide service for several areas surrounding these towns and even southern Missouri. Give us a call today at 1-888-863-0206 to schedule your FREE pest evaluation and take back your yard.
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.