Pest Control Services

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Tips for Keeping Pests Away From Your Summer BBQs

Few things in life are better than spending time with family and friends in your backyard on a summer day. This is a popular time of year to enjoy outdoor barbecues. Unfortunately, many pests like ants, flies, mosquitoes and other stinging insects are more prevalent during warm weather. In addition to being a nuisance, these pests may also pose a health risk. While ants and flies contaminate food, mosquitoes are known to carry diseases like malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus. Bees and wasp stings can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. To keep your backyard barbecue or picnic as pest-free as possible, consider the following tips.

Remove Sources of Standing Water

Take the time to inspect your property for anything that could collect rainwater. This includes empty planters, birdbaths and other open containers. These standing pools of water attract mosquitoes and serve as breeding grounds for the dangerous insects.

Take the Sting Out

Stinging insects are drawn to scents. You should avoid cooking overly pungent food and wearing perfumes or colognes. Inspect your property for beehives and wasp nests. If you notice any, contact Pest Control Services. Removing bee and wasp colonies will reduce the chance that these stinging insects will attack.

Be Careful When You Eat

Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. If you are planning an afternoon barbecue, try to serve the meal so that everyone can finish eating before these party crashers descend en masse.

Cover Food

Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers or containers. This will prevent pests from contaminating your food. If possible, serve and store food indoors. Reserve your outdoor spaces for dining and entertaining.

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3 Signs Pests Are Getting the Best of Your Lawn

Feeling proud of what you have done, you sit back and admire the lush and attractive color of your lawn, which was not easy to achieve. But the unthinkable happens a few days later; you notice your lawn is starting to fade and lose its vibrant appearance, and you don't know where to turn. If you are facing this problem and hunting for a way to solve it as soon as possible, common pests are likely to blame for the changes in your grass. Learning about the top three signs that pests are getting the best of your lawn will get you moving in the right direction.

Wilted Grass Blades

If you look at your lawn and noticed wilted blades of grass, beetles could be the source of the problem. These pests will lay eggs in your soil, and you will have trouble when they hatch. As larvae, the young pests will consume the roots of your grass, causing damage over time. By next summer, the larvae will grow into adult beetles and lay their own eggs, allowing the process to repeat until you do something to stop them in their tracks. You will want to move quickly when you see the red flags if you would like to keep your lawn in top shape for as long as possible.

Discolored Grass

Discolored grass probably means that chinch bugs have found your property and decided to call it home. When they feed on grass, they attach themselves to the blades and consume the nutrients. To get the most from each meal, chinch bugs release an anticoagulant from their saliva to keep the liquid flowing, but the effects don't wear off when they finish the meal. As a result, the remaining anticoagulant prevents your lawn from absorbing and retaining enough water to survive.

Holes and Mounds

In addition to damaging your grass, some pests can also harm the soil and create unsightly holes or mounds on your property. If you notice holes that were not there before, you have a mole infestation you need to manage before it's too late to contain the damage. Ants that decide to call your yard home will build large mounds that reduce the visual appeal of your lawn in a way you won't be able to overlook. As the ant colony grows over time, you will spot even more mounds in your yard unless you are proactive.

Pest Control Services Inc.

You might be searching for answers that will empower you to remove pests and get your lawn back to its former beauty. If you don't want to take unneeded risks when it comes to your yard, reach out to Pest Control Services Inc., and you will be glad you did. Our dedicated and kind experts will locate and eliminate the pests that are harming your lawn and provide you with impressive results. If you are ready to get started so that you can make your pest control problem a thing of the past, contact us today for a free quote.

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Are Termites Attracted to Certain Types of Wood?

Termites are small insects with segmented bodies that have a reputation for destroying any structure that is made from wood. Understanding the tastes of these insidious pests can help you to minimize the damage to your home or business property. Some scientists assert that these insects are related to the ancient cockroach, and their bodies appear to have traits similar to both roaches and ants. The soldier termite has a reddish tint to their head, and worker termites have translucent heads that are similar to their bodies. They will consume a large quantity of plants, feces, decaying leaves, and paper products. This is important to know because many of these other items may provide the termites with an initial attraction. Once they are in the area of your home, they may begin to smell the aroma of the wood inside the building.

Termites and Wood

Termites are primarily attracted to any materials that contain cellulose, which is an organic compound. They are capable of digesting wood and paper products because of the particular types of bacteria that grow inside of their abdomen. Their guts also contain a substantial amount of protozoa, which enables them to break down wood inside of their bellies. Other pests don’t have these traits, and this is a distinguishing characteristic. However, many customers may wonder if this creates a situation where the termite will end up preferring particular types of wood.

Termites tend to like digesting wood that has a decent level of moisture. They can consume water indirectly by eating wood that has the ability to retain moisture. For example, damp-wood termites will feed on stumps of trees that have been cut down, but they can also attract other types of termites into your area. Spring-wood is an example of a wood that will attract termites. Other types of wood that may attract these pests include:

  • Spruce
  • Teak
  • Peruvian walnut
  • Yellow pine
  • Birch
  • Red Oak

Pest Control Services

Termites can invade your property and damage the structure of the building without drawing attention to their presence. These pests are attracted to wood that contains moisture and cellulose properties. However, they will also enter your home if they detect the smell of decaying vegetation in the yard. This may bring them close enough to your door to allow them to smell the wood inside of your building. There are only a few types of wood that will repel termites. They have the capacity to consume almost any type of wood, but they also have their preferences as well. For example, homes containing furniture made from teak or Peruvian walnut may face a higher risk of termite infestations. For additional information about pest control, contact our team.

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What Weeds on Your Lawn Do You Need to Be Worried About?

You spend a lot of time treating your grass and taking other steps to keep your yard in good shape, but you can’t seem to get your weed problem under control. A lot of people face this issue and don’t know what solution they should try to overcome it for good. 

Weeds will harm the look of your lawn if you don’t find a way to get rid of them, but they can also steal nutrients and water from your grass and the plants that you want to keep. If you would like to contain weeds before they get out of hand, learn about the most common ones and how you can address them. 

Crabgrass

Learning how to handle crabgrass is a wise step if your mission involves keeping your lawn at its best throughout the year. This weed will be a challenge to control if you don't eliminate it right away, but spotting and removing it in the spring will help. You can pull them up by the roots if you don't have a lot of crabgrass, but you can use an organic herbicide to treat large areas. 

Pigweeds

Pigweeds are a problem that your lawn will probably face in the late spring and early summer because they prefer a warm climate. Promptly pulling these weeds up from the root as soon as you discover them will make your job much easier. If pigweeds keep popping up in your garden and you need a viable solution, sprinkling some winter mulch will work wonders. With a little effort and a lot of vigilance, you should not have trouble keeping pigweeds at bay. 

Dandelions

Of all the weeds that you will battle in your quest for a green lawn, dandelions are among the most formidable. By the time they become visible, they have already established strong roots underground, so you will need to pull them up by the roots if you want to prevent them from coming back. 

While most dandelion seeds only travel about 30 feet from their source, ideal conditions will allow them to float for nearly a mile. You can make a lot of progress when it comes to reducing the number of dandelions in your yard, but getting rid of all of them is next to impossible. 

Pest Control Services

Dealing with weeds in your lawn can take a lot of time, and you won't always be able to handle the problem on your own. When you need to improve your results and take your lawn to the next level, you can't go wrong when you enlist the help of Pest Control Services. When you turn to our trusted team, we will provide you with a lawn of which anyone would be proud. We offer a number of specialty services, so be sure to give us a call and see how we can help!

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Is It a Carpenter Ant or a Termite?

Trying to identify an insect pest can be difficult at times, especially when looking at species as similar as termites and carpenter ants. The two groups are of similar size and shape and both tend to swarm around the same time of year, spring. Perhaps most importantly, both can cause significant structural damage to the home by wearing down wooden structures. However, there are several physical and behavioral characteristics that can help one distinguish between the two groups, making it easier to determine the best course of action for removal. 

Physical Differences

Color is often a helpful identifier, as carpenter ants tend to be some shade of red-brown, while worker and soldier termites are predominantly a very light cream color or even transparent. Color is not always helpful, however, as swarming termites tend to be similar in color to ants. Another way to tell the difference is the overall body shape of the insect. The last two segments of an ant’s body are clearly separated by a narrow area, often called a “waist”, while termites lack this obvious delineation. 

Other characteristics can be subtler but still helpful in identification. Both carpenter ants and termites have four wings during swarming, which are not present the rest of the year. Termite wings are all the same size, while the back pair of wings on carpenter ants are smaller than the front pair. The antennae are also distinct with ants having a clear bend in their antennae while those found on termites are straight.

Behavioral Differences

Perhaps one of the most apparent differences between these pest animals is what they are doing to damage the wood. Termites are capable of digesting wood products, which is relatively uncommon among animals, so the damage is caused by them eating the material. Carpenter ants do not ingest wood but cause damage by burrowing into it to create their nests. Small piles of wood shavings near holes are a sign of carpenter ants, since they push out the wood scraps rather than eating them. The wood chosen by the two groups can also vary, as carpenter ants typically seek out wet or rotting wood, while termites will even eat strong, fresh materials. 

The nest designs themselves are substantially different. Ants create very clean, smooth tunnels, but termite tunnels usually have a less finished appearance with some debris found inside. Another clear indication of termites is the presence of small tunnels of dirt and wood debris around the nest called mud tubes. Termites use these tubes to protect them when venturing outside the nest, as they must avoid drying out and typically stay out of direct light. Ants, however, can often be seen foraging in the open, even in bright rooms.

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