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How to Get Rid of Seagulls & Seagull Nest Removal

The beach is a beautiful place to relax and spend the day or even a long vacation, but not when seagulls are bombarding you. If you have a beach home or resort that you are trying to rid seagulls from because they have become an annoyance, there are methods you can use to help rid of the birds away. Even if you do not live at the beach and are dealing with a seagull problem these methods can help you, but first you must understand what seagulls are and what attracts them in order to solve the problem.

What are seagulls?

Seagulls got their name because these birds love being at the beach near open bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, and even ponds. This is especially true for public beaches and parks where trash cans are everywhere and boardwalks with food stands and carts. You may even run into seagulls at amusement park built on beaches dining at concession stands and stealing people’s hot dogs right from their hands as they are walking to a place to sit down and enjoy their food.

You can find these birds in most areas of the world, but they mainly hang out in North America. The birds are roughly sixteen inches long with a wingspan of forty inches wide. You can spot them with easy because they are typically bright white in color with black tipped wings, but some are gray or even three-toned with white, gray and a bit of black. Seagulls love munching on marine invertebrates, plankton and fish, but most of all enjoy an easy meal, prefering to dine on foods that are easy to obtain, which is why they love dumpster diving and hanging out wherever water and food sources are abundant.

However, these birds also love living in areas where there is plenty of moss and seaweed for building nests for laying eggs during their breeding season which is usually during the months of July and August. If your one looking for methods to keep these seagulls away, destroying seagull nests and keeping moss and seaweed cleaned up around your living space are one way that will work well for deterring and keeping seagulls away naturally.

What are some of the different breeds of seagulls you can find around open bodies of water?

  • Black-legged Kittiwakes
  • Bonaparte Gulls
  • California Gulls
  • Common Black Headed Gulls
  • Franklin Gulls
  • Glaucous Gulls
  • Glaucous Winged Gulls
  • Great Black-Backed Gulls
  • Heermann Gulls
  • Herring Gulls
  • Iceland Gulls
  • Ivory Gulls
  • Laughing Gulls
  • Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
  • Little Gulls
  • Mew Gulls
  • Red-legged Kittiwake Gulls
  • Ring-Billed Gulls
  • Ross Gulls
  • Sabine Gulls
  • Thayer Gulls
  • Western Gulls

What are other reasons for wanting to rid seagulls away besides them being annoying?

Besides seagulls being annoying at the beach and trying to steal your food, seagull droppings are another reason why people want to get rid of these birds from their beach homes and resorts. Seagull droppings actually carry diseases such as:

  • Histoplasmosis: Respiratory Infection
  • Candidiasis: Fungal Infection
  • Cryptococcosis: Fungal Infection
  • St. Louis Encephalitis: Yeast Infection
  • Salmonellosis: Bacteria Poisoning
  • Ecoli: Bacteria Poisoning
  • Bed Bugs: Parasite Problem
  • Chicken Mites: Parasite Problem
  • Yellow Mealworms: Parasite Infection
  • West Nile: Viral Infection

What are some useful methods for getting rid of seagulls?

There is many useful methods for getting rid of seagulls. One of the newest methods found useful is having sheepdogs patrol beach areas a few times per day and even going for long walks along beaches with their owners. Seagulls in general do not like dogs, but sheepdogs particularly will run any type of gull off the beach.

Another method that is helpful is attracting raptors, which are large falcon like birds that can kill off a flock of seagulls with ease. However, this method is one that needs to be used with caution since raptors can go after small dogs and cats within your beach home yard as well.

Other methods that work well are:

  • Placing large bright color flags or kites around your beach home or resort since seagulls hate bright colors
  • Place bird spikes, wires or netting around your home or resort to keep the birds from landing there
  • Use mechanical spider devices or rotating blades as ways to repel seagulls
  • Install motion sensor water sprinklers or lights around your property or devices that make loud noises
  • Try shooting off squirt guns at the birds as a harmless way to repel the birds away
  • Use mild electrical zippers to shock the birds away
  • Chase the birds away yourself as a harmless method
  • Have a pet cat that loves being outdoors repel the birds away for you

What are some end thoughts to keep in mind when getting rid of seagulls?

In general, seagulls are harmless peaceful happy creatures people love seeing at the beach because they are simply part of that particular climates atmosphere and without them the beach wouldn’t feel like the beach. Some people even love hearing them make their cawing noise because it means they have arrived at the beach and its time to relax and enjoy ocean life. With that said, if you are not one of these people and seagulls are an annoyance to you, you can always try the methods above to repel them away or even get rid of them. After all, the beach is suppose to be a place of comfort and relaxation while you are there visiting, or living.

More Seagull Control Resources:

  1. Behavioral Control of Seagulls at Langley Airforce Base – University of Nebraska at Lincoln 
  2. How to Keep Birds Away from Your House or Yard – NeverPest.com

Fruit Fly Traps That Work- Homemade Traps, Recipes & Product Reviews

The warm days of summer, when fruits and vegetables are fresh and readily available are a true pleasure– the nasty little fruit flies that swarm in with the heat and seasonal produce are anything but. Fruit flies are the kind of pest you ignore for a couple days, swatting at them when they appear in the kitchen, only to realize you have a true infestation on your hands. They come up out of the drain, swarm around the fruit bowl, and crawl all along your walls and windows.

You have a few choices for how to get rid of the fruit flies in your kitchen. Buying a trap is the least hassle and not very expensive, but making your own is even cheaper and may not require you to even take a trip to the store. A store-bought and homemade fruit fly trap are going to work the same way by luring the bugs in then drowning them.  You have three main options:

  1. Buy a commercial, ready-made fruit fly trap and set it out in your kitchen
  2. Make your own trap out of household ingredients and supplies
  3. Give into the spirit of the lazy days of summer and wait for them to disappear

Apple Cider Vinegar, Wine, Milk, and Rotting Fruit Traps

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular ingredients for killing off fruit flies in your kitchen. Take a bottle of apple cider vinegar (even if it is mostly empty, according to Good Housekeeping and rubber band a piece of plastic wrap around the opening to secure the top. Poke holes in the plastic wrap so the fruit flies can go in but cannot exit the bottle. They should drown inside the vinegar. If you don’t use plastic wrap you can add a little dish soap to the mixture; the soap will hold down the flies and drown them. The only downside to this method is sometimes the flies do not get around to the bottle or they manage to escape through the holes in the plastic wrap. Plus, apple cider vinegar can get a little smelly in the heat.

If you don’t keep apple cider vinegar on hand you can try a similar method with red wine. Just keep a nearly empty bottle uncorked and the flies should go in without being able to escape back up the long bottle neck. Some people have a lot of success with a milk, sugar, and pepper mixture like the one cooked up by the household experts at Everyday Roots.

If the fruit flies are so fond of the fruit rotting in your kitchen, maybe you should let them have at it. The trick is to create a trap where the flies try to get at the fruit but are unable to escape. Take a piece of turned fruit and place it in the bottom of a wide-mouth jar. Using a piece of paper, make a cone with a bottom hole about an inch wide. The pests should fly right into the fruit fly trap without being able to escape. Careful when you clean this one up, however, so that any flies still alive do not escape back into your kitchen.

Fruit Fly Prevention

Here are a few simple steps to follow to ensure fruit flies don’t return, or at least don’t find a hospitable place to live when they travel in with your produce:

  • Keep a clean kitchen with no residue left over from rotting fruit or dirty dishes in the sink, according to Moyer Indoor and Outdoor Pest.
  • Throw away any fruits and vegetables as soon as they start to turn
  • Sanitize trash cans each time the garbage is taken out
  • Treat your drains with either ammonia or bleach (but not both together!) by letting a cleaning solution sit in the drain or garbage disposal for about a half hour before rinsing

You can also use a spray made of essential oils to keep fruit flies off your counters and walls. Lemongrass, for instance, is a natural fruit fly repellent that smells great to humans when used as a kitchen cleaner. Use a homemade lemongrass mixture in a spray bottle to wipe down kitchen surfaces and hopefully the fruit flies will stay away from places where you cook while the traps do their work.

Fruit flies may be inevitable but they don’t have to take over your kitchen whenever it is warm. Whether you purchase a trap from the store or drown the little pests with a homemade setup, address your fruit fly problem sooner than later– and take the proper preventative measures– to make your summer months a little more enjoyable and a little less pesky.

 

Further Fruit Fly Resources:

  1. Fruit Fly Trapping Guidelines – USDA.gov
  2. How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies: A Complete Guide – NeverPest.com

How to Get Rid of Brown Recluse Spiders in House Naturally

Arachnophobia may have been an underrated 90’s horror film, but it is also a very real fear for 9% of Americans. On the bright side, unless you live in Australia, this fear is largely unfounded since, of the roughly 34,000 discovered species of spider, only a dozen are harmful to humans. One such spider known to pack as much bite as it does bark (No, not Selenocosmia Crassipes) is the Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa).

This relatively small arachnid contains a venom more potent that that of a rattlesnake, but because of the tiny amounts of venom injected, the bite is rarely fatal to humans. On the downside, this venom has been known to attack and destroy cell membranes, ultimately leading to necrosis. As such, if you suspect you have a Brown Recluse infestation, you need to take the proper steps toward verification immediately.

How to Identify a Brown Recluse

To the untrained eye, spiders are very much like floral patterns- they all look alike. However, proper identification of the type of spider infesting your property is essential in its effective removal. When attempting to determine if your spider is in fact, a Brown Recluse, glue traps prove indispensable. Once you have one immobilized, keep an eye out for these characteristics:

  • First, check this map. If you don’t live in the South, Midwest, Texas, or the Southwest desert climes, you probably don’t have a Brown Recluse.
  • This arachnid has six eyes rather than the standard eight, with one set in the center, and one pair slightly behind and on either side.
  • There will be a dark, violin shape on the cephalothorax, which is the fused head and thorax region. However, this discoloration is often misidentified.
  • Check the legs, which will be the same color as the body, and will feature fine hairs but no spines.
  • Though dangerous, this spider is only about the size of a quarter. You won’t find one the size of it’s reputation.
  • Possessing an antisocial temperament, these spiders will not build webs in plain sight where they can be easily seen.
  • Ranging from a yellowish brown to dark chocolate, the color of the spider depends largely upon diet.
  • Brown Recluses have oval shaped abdomens.

Why You Need to be Concerned About a Recluse Infestation

Sure, maybe the pain associated with the initial bite is so minor that many do not even notice they were bitten until much later, and the Brown Recluse has been known to eat insects and even small rodents, but this should not have them confused with some benevolent, symbiotic agreement between yourself and the spider. While it is true that many bites heal on their own, the potent venom of the Brown Recluse can become intensely painful over time, has been known to transform into large, ulcer-like wounds, and can cause tissue death as well as other serious complications- all of which are scenarios most would like to avoid if at all possible. With that in mind, here are a few other facts that you need to know about Brown Recluse spiders that will demonstrate exactly why you should be wary of even a single one of these arachnids in your home or on your property:

  • A single female can give birth to 150 new spiders in a single year, and typically lays eggs in the early summer.
  • In addition to being shy, the Brown Recluse is nocturnal, and has been known to bite people in their sleep.
  • Much like the rest of us, these spiders prefer to be indoors, and are fond of dark spaces such as attics, basements, closets, bathrooms, air ducts, sheds, barns, etc.

Ridding Your Home or Property of Brown Recluses

Ideally, you have been able to use the above mentioned bullet points to confirm that you do not have a Brown Recluse living with you. If, however, the opposite is true and you have corroborated an infestation, you will want to take steps to remove any and all member of this species from your home or property. Here are a few steps to follow on your warpath:

  • Pretend it’s Spring and start deep cleaning, paying particular attention to those hard to reach nooks and crannies.
  • Always wear gloves and cover as much of your exposed skin as possible. While no one will judge you for showing up in a containment suit or beekeeper outfit, this amounts to overkill as the small fangs typical of this spider won’t allow it to puncture even lightweight clothing. A mixture of bleach and water is reportedly as good at repelling these spiders as it is at disinfecting.
  • Check in corners, around baseboards, in closets, dressers, and boxes.
  • Also check in bathrooms, in the shower, bathtub, and around toilets.
  • When searching in closets, don’t forget to look inside hanging and folded clothes, as well as shoes.
  • Couches and recliners also make ideal hiding spaces for this socially inept arachnid.

If at any point you come into contact with a Brown Recluse, try to avoid the hit-or-miss shoe method of disposal and instead gas them with Zenprox Aerosol. Remember also that these are nocturnal creatures and will most likely be away from their webs in the evening hours. If you want to catch them sleeping, day time is the right time. Once you have inspected these favored habitats and removed any Recluses that you do see, experts recommend utilizing some type of spray barrier that will deter any other arachnids from entering your home. This site provides an excellent breakdown of products available to consumers. That same website should give you an idea of what kind of insecticide you want to apply to the interior of your home- a spray or a dust. As a tip, dusts may leave behind more residue, but they are better at penetrating cracks and entering those hard to reach areas.

What to Do if Bitten by a Brown Recluse

The first thing to do if you are bitten by a Brown Recluse is to remain calm. Freaking out does not help. After gathering your senses:

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Apply ice.
  • Elevate the bite.
  • Seek medical attention.

If you notice the bite at the time it occurs, take the spider with you to the hospital, as it can be difficult for even the most highly qualified physician to diagnose a Brown Recluse bite from simply looking at the wound. This difficulty stems from the fact that many other medical conditions can present as a Brown Recluse bite.

The Last Bite

As you can see, there are many reasons why a Brown Recluse infestation may not be as desirable as, say, a Koala infestation. So if you suspect that you might be inadvertently harboring one of these arachnids, the steps outlined in this article should help you determine whether you have a Recluse, or something else, and then what steps you should take afterward. If at all possible, the safest and most effective way to handle any type of infestation is to consult a professional

How to Keep Bats from Hanging Outside Your House

Getting rid of bats outside your home may increase other pests they are famous for controlling. They are known for eating thousands of pests like the mosquito. However sometimes they choose places to live that are just too close for comfort as they are also famous for carrying diseases of their own. When the bat gets to close or their numbers get to large; it is time to know how to get rid of them outside your house.

Sometimes the bats are not using your home as their resting spot. They may just be too close to your home and if you don’t get rid of them your house will be threatened. There are some preventive measures to keep bats from finding your area inviting:

  • Wood: Bats love to live in dead trees. If you have a tree that has died, cut it down and remove it. If the bat can’t find a place close to you, then they move further away in search of a home.
  • Standing water: If you have an area that always has water sitting in it such as bird baths, or rain catchers- get rid of them. You are attracting the bat with a consistent source of water.
  • Insects: The main food source for the bat is insects. If you can resolve the insect population around your home, you can reduce the chances of bats coming near it.

How to remove bats from your walls

If the bat has chosen your house for their home and you know they are living inside your walls it will take some time and effort to remove them.

Choose an appropriate time for removal

Getting rid of bats outside your house must be done during the right season. This will ensure their survival and ability to continue getting rid of pests.

  • You need to know if the bats are nursing/nesting. If you remove the mother bat before her pups are ready to care for themselves, they will die. It takes approximately five weeks for newborns to take care of themselves. In the United States and Canada the maternity season for bats is between May 1st and August 31st.
  • The bats will hibernate during winter months and if you evict them during the cold, they will not be able to find sufficient food to survive. You’ll increase your pest population considerably if you kill off all the bats around your area.
  • You can relocate bats to a bat house if you which to do so.  Some people enjoy having bats around because they help control insect populations in and around their yard.  They are especially useful at keeping the mosquito population in check.

Locate where they are living

Bat droppings will be your best clue to finding where the bats are living. The bat guano (droppings) sparkles in the sunshine and has a crumbly texture. The guano makes a great fertilizer but it is very unsafe to inhale. Inhaling to high of a level will produce a disease that is similar to flu symptoms. Those with the highest risk of getting sick from inhaling guano are the young, old and anyone with a weakened immune system.

If you cannot find signs of the guano, then you can wait until dusk when they will begin flying out of their homes to search for food. Remember when looking for their possible exits that bats can fit through holes the size of a dime. Common entrees or exits are:

  1. Where your wall meets the eaves on your house.
  2. Places the flashing or boards have come loose.
  3. Poor fitting or broken screens.
  4. Where your pipes enter your house.
  5. Where your porch attaches to the house.
  6. Cracks where siding forms a corner, or where siding meets your chimney.

Don’t allow the bats to return

Once you know where they are living and after they have flown out to search for food, seal the entrance. You can staple or nail a screen over their entrance. The following night, remove the screen so any that remained behind can also leave. Bats do not feed every night, so you will need to repeat removing and replacing the screen for several nights to ensure all the bats have left. Once you are sure they have all left; you can then use a more permanent seal on the entrance.

How to remove bats from your shutters and porch

If you have shutters on your home and the bat chooses them to live it can be quite annoying. They will be noisy with their scratching and squeaking and you will want to remove them and then discourage their return. Having them flying in and out of your porch will also want to be stopped.

  • The bat does not like light. If you are able to direct bright light toward the shutter or inside of the porch they will not want to stay. The down side to this method will be lights also attract bugs and it could be counter effective if the light draws the bat to a food source.
  • Repellents
  • Check your state guidelines on bat repellents before using. In some areas it is illegal to harm bats. Not all repellents are legal to use, and some states do not allow the use of any chemicals. You need to make sure you are choosing legal ones before putting them out.
  • There are bird repellents on the market that are sticky. If the bat crosses this stickiness they will not like the feel and will be discouraged from living there.

Mothballs

The chemical in moth balls, naphthalene has been approved to use on bats in some states. You can place the mothball around areas you think they are living and they will not want to live where this scent is present.

Natural repellents

The fragrance some natural items emit will discourage bats from seeking shelter where they smell it. The scents irritate the bat and they will find it very unpleasant. You will need to ensure the scent is strong enough and lasts for several days. Some of these natural repellents include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Human hair
  • Peppermint
  • Green tea
  • Coyote urine
  • Eucalyptus
  • Menthol

Electronic bat repellent

Electronic bat repellents emit sound waves which constantly vary and change before a bat can adjust to the pattern. This annoys the bat which uses sound waves to determine where objects are. When this constantly changing sound continues in your area they will be encouraged to move.

The sound waves coming from the electronic bat repellent will interfere with the bats echolocation. These are two that have been effective:

Transonic Pro

This is an ultrasonic bat repellent and will disturb the bats communication and sleep. It can be used with batteries allowing you to place in varied locations if power is not available.

ET Pest Control

The ET Pest Control will emit varied sound waves at different frequencies. The unit can be plugged into any household outlet.

Bats can become a pest and a danger when they decide to use your home and property as their nesting place. You will want to remove them from your home and areas close to your house; however, they are protected by some state and federal laws. To ensure you are using appropriate measures, check with your state laws before beginning removal of the bat from your home.

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How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in an Apartment Building & Appartment Units

Roaches can vary; they can be large, small, alone or in groups. They are all incredibly quick and sneaky making them difficult to get rid of. They are one of the most adaptable and efficient insects and breed very fast. One huge problem of having a roach problem in an apartment complex is that you are the mercy of the other tenants. Others living habits will affect the success of you getting rid of the ones in your apartment. There are some measures you can take to get rid of them and do your best to prevent more from coming.

Locate Where the Cockroaches are In Your Apartment

Setting traps will identify how large of a problem you have with roaches. It will also show you where they are gathering. There are inexpensive sticky roach traps you can purchase from local hardware stores to set out to capture them. You can also make your own traps with petroleum jelly and bread. By coating the jar in the jelly and placing the bread inside, the roach will go in for the bread and the jelly will prevent it from escaping.

Put the traps randomly around your apartment; in corners, under furniture, and inside cabinets. The roach normally travels along the edges of floors and furniture avoiding being out in the middle of rooms. Leave the traps out for a good day and see where the most have been trapped. Dispose of the traps you’ve purchased and if you’ve used the jar and bread, kill those roaches by filling the jar with warm soapy water.

Get rid of the Cockroaches

Now that you’ve located where most of the roaches are residing in your apartment; you can start the process of eliminating them. Begin with a natural insecticidal dust. The most effective are:

These contain a natural killer of insects but will not harm mammals and will be safe to use if you have a pet.

Pour the dust you’ve chosen lightly on surfaces where the roaches are the heaviest. The borax works well because it poisons the roach and the diatomaceous dust will actually work more quickly as it gets in the insects shell at the joints and pores. The roach cannot develop a resistance to either of these products.

Here is a boric acid recipe one frustrated roach hater came up with that worked well:

  1. Boric acid powder
  2. Karo syrup (or other sweetener such as peanut butter, honey etc.)
  3. Rice Flour (any kind will actually work)
  4. One Popsicle stick
  5. One mixing bowl

To make the recipe you put two parts of the boric acid with one part flour and enough Karo syrup or other sweetener of choice and mix until a thickish consistency. The roach will find the disguised boric acid and with the sweetener added; eat it and get poisoned. If you have pets it should be inside a trap that your pet cannot get into because just as the sweetener fools the roach; it will fool your pet too.

You can also set up more traps to begin eliminating the roaches that are sold in most hardware stores. Two brand names that have been effective are Combat and Maxforce. Change the locations of the traps often and replace them frequently as the bait will be consumed quickly if you are dealing with a lot of roaches. Traps that contain Hydramethylnon are the most effective as it will kill the roaches within three days after they eat it.

Another option is hiring a professional to come in to exterminate your apartment. A professional insect control company will have access to chemicals not available to the public.

Prevent the roaches from returning

You will not be able to completely eliminate your problem if the rest of the building is not treated. You will need to talk to the manager of the apartment complex to help in ridding the rest of the apartments of roaches.

Cockroaches love carbohydrates and sugars found in our food, plants, and even soaps. Make sure you keep all your food in plastic containers with tight seals. Do not leave any products in bags or boxes as the roach can easily get inside them. Do not use bar soaps, instead start using soap dispensers and if you have house plants, spread petroleum jelly on the plant holders so the roach cannot reach the plant.

Keep all surfaces where food is prepared wiped down so no remaining crumbs are left behind. Roaches will seek out any small particle of food or residue from spills you leave behind and consider your areas a good food source.

Keeping your floors vacuumed or swept daily will also cut down on food scraps or crumbs they will be able to find. Scrubbing often will increase your success to discourage the roaches from crawling across your kitchen.

Roaches can travel from apartment to apartment through cracks and gaps in the walls. They will also come in through doors and windows. Check all doors and windows to make sure there are no small gaps in any of them and also check that there are no cracks or gaps in any wall areas of your apartment. Silicone caulk is a good product to use for sealing any cracks or gaps you might find.

Problems that come with Cockroaches

Cockroach Bites

Besides just being creepy, the roach can cause other problems if they are not gotten rid of. They are omnivores which mean they will eat plants and meat. Does that mean they can bite? They have been recorded to have eaten human flesh both dead and alive although tend to feast mainly on fingernails, eyelashes, feet, and hands. If bitten, you will form lesions, swelling and the bite marks will itch. The cockroach is not a clean insect in its search for food, so it is possible the bite can also cause infections.

Humans are not the first choice of food for the roach. They are not entering your apartment with you as their target for the next meal. It will begin to happen more frequently though in areas where their population has not been monitored and controlled. When their food source starts to become limited, cockroaches will forage on things they don’t normally consume. Hopefully, you will have taken control of the infestation before it reaches this level.

Cockroach Feces

The roach feces or droppings are easy to identify. They are small and resemble coffee or black pepper in appearance. If the roach is large the feces will be cylindrical in shape with ridges down the side. Their feces contain proteins and allergens which have been known to cause asthma attacks. Studies have been done showing roach feces worsen asthma symptoms more than any other trigger. If you find the feces; vacuum and clean the area immediately with warm water and soap.

There is no question about it; you cannot share your apartment with a roach. Talk to your landlord to see about extermination and then follow these tips to get any remaining out of your apartment and keep them out.