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.