All Posts by David Jackson

How To Get Rid Of Scorpions: Prevention and Removal

What are scorpions?

Scorpions are arachnids that are considered predatory animals. In the United States, they mostly live in the southern part of the country, in desert areas. All over the world, there are more than 2000 different species. Even if they are creatures of the desert, they can often be found in inhabited areas. These animals have eight legs and a segmented tail that can make them easy to be recognized. Being nocturnal creatures, scorpions prefer to stay hidden in dark areas during the day and they come out at night for finding water and food. There are different ways for people to get rid of them, as they are considered common household pests.

What do scorpions eat and how do they behave?

Being close relatives of ticks and spiders, scorpions are carnivores. They are fierce hunters, so they can sting their victims and inject venom to kill their prey. The prey is ambushed before it is killed. The sting is very painful, but to humans, it is usually harmless. When a scorpion stings you, you need to call your local poison center or go to the hospital for getting treatment. Their victims are usually insects, arthropods, and small invertebrates. Because they can slow down their metabolism as an adaptation to living in harsh environments, some species can live with just one insect eaten throughout the year.

What is their habitat?

Scorpions can be found all over the world in all types of habitats, but they are commonly found in deserts, grasslands, and rainforests. While there are species that are rare, scorpions, in general, are not endangered. These creatures use the soil as a cover, so they like to burrow into the soil, rocks and sand to avoid the sight of predators. They require loose soil for surviving and thriving and they avoid hard and dense soil.

The appearance of scorpions

Scorpions don’t have a nice appearance. They look threatening and repulsive. Just like all arachnids, scorpions have eight legs, two large pincers and one segmented tail that is long and venomous. Many people think about scorpions as black creatures, but they can also have other colors. The external part is an exoskeleton that can have different colors: black, blue, brown, green and yellow.  The smallest scorpion size is of half an inch and the largest can even have eight inches. Between these two extremes, there are a variety of sizes.

What is the immediate action for getting rid of scorpions?

The first thing that you can do is to remove any food source from your yard, seal your house and eliminate excess moisture. Scorpions are often looking for water so make sure you don’t have any leaks around the home. Then, you should try to get rid of any bugs that you may have in your house like ants and roaches. The next step is to make sure there are no places that the creatures may use as shelter. They usually look for dark places, cardboard boxes, under the bed, closets and places in bathrooms that have a lot of stuff together. Outside they can hide in bushes.

What is the next step for getting rid of scorpions?

You should look for scorpions during the night and hunt them like their hunt their pray so to speak. They can be killed one at a time and you shouldn’t use this method if you are too scared of them. There are special tools used for killing these creatures, but you must first find them. This can be done by using ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light will allow you to make the animals glow in the dark and they will be easy to spot. One of the weapons used for killing scorpions is the long-handled tweezer, as it can break the exoskeleton of the creatures. Look in all the places that are considered hiding places for these animals, including your house and its attic. You can also kill these creatures with a knife or your boots. Cockroach spray can also be used for killing scorpions.

Traps, repellents, and insecticides

Sticky traps that are usually good for insects can work for scorpions too. These traps can be placed near water sources, or in the dark corners of your house. Cats and chickens can hunt scorpions, so you can use their help. As a repellent, you can use cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon in dark areas and any other areas where the creatures can be found. There are insecticides that are specifically meant for scorpions. You can use them to spread an area of about two yards around your house. The foundation walls and areas where there are stacked materials can also be sprayed. Other substances to use can be synthetic pesticide and wettable powder. The best approach would be to call a professional to deal with these pests.

Get Rid of Ladybug Infestations Naturally – Inside & Outside

The newly imported lady bug, better known as Asian lady beetle has become quite a nuisance. Originally brought to the country to control predators like aphids, these little creatures have become extremely annoying as they take shelter in our homes for the winter. They generally shelter in natural cavities and hills in lower elevations and unfortunately, our homes are incredibly similar to the natural areas they seek.

While the Asian lady beetle does no direct harm to our homes, the can become quite a problem with their large numbers and presence in every part of the house. Their continuous crawling over all surfaces and flying randomly through our space is not acceptable. We need to prevent them choosing our home as a place to winter.

Prevention is a great control method for avoiding an infestation being able to get started as it is so difficult to remove the lady bug beetle once it has found its way into your home. There are a couple of control methods that can be applied to the exterior walls of your home:

D-Fense SC Insecticide

The D-Fense insecticide is odorless and safe around your children and pets. It can provide two to three months of protection around your home for insect control. It can be used indoors as well as outdoors and will provide protection from a wide variety of insects. When spraying outside to prevent the entry of the lady bug; spray the exterior walls from the ground to as high as you can go.

Demon WP Pesticide

This spray is used by many bug control professionals. It has a low odor and lasts up to 90 days. It can be applied indoors and outdoors and provides action in less than an hour. It is an easy to use formula and is ideal for cleaning out unwanted bugs. It will keep the lady bugs from entering your home when applied to the complete exterior of your home.

Getting rid of these lady bug beetles can be quite challenging. Here are some natural tips to follow to prevent you home from becoming their chosen wintering grounds or to remove them if they already have:

Winterize Your Home

The lady bug is going to start looking for somewhere to winter during the fall. They will generally hibernate in your home during the winter months and then begin coming out when it begins to warm in the spring. The hibernation theory becomes questionable as their presence will be seen throughout the winter crawling around your home.

To prevent them from entering in the fall caulk your windows and replace the weather stripping where necessary and make it more difficult for them to come in.

Act Right Away If You Notice a Lady Bug Problem

As soon as you notice these bugs- take action. They are able to multiply very quickly and will communicate to other bugs with the scent they leave to come join them in your home. You want to remove these critters as soon as you see them.

Plant Mums

The mum plants will keep the lady bug away as they do not like these plants. You can actually protect your house from all kinds of insects with the mum plant. Place them around your windows and doors if possible to ward the lady bug away.

Use Your Vacuum to Remove the Lady Bugs from Indoors

Vacuuming the lady bugs up as soon as you see them is a good way to dispose of them. They will; however, be able to survive this so you need to remove your bag immediately and either seal in plastic or burn it.

Use Diatomaceous Earth Powder

The diatomaceous powder can be spread around the outside of your home’s structure. This will keep the lady bugs from entering at ground level.

Remove the Scent of the Lady Bug Beetle

The lady bug beetle has an offensive odor. You may not notice this smell unless you squash one or they sense danger and emit it. This scent will be used by other bugs in finding your home so getting rid of it will help prevent more from coming. A citrus spray of Wild Orange Essential Oil diluted in water can be used to wipe up the lady bugs and then spray the solution in areas you see them infesting.

Use Cloves

The lady bug beetle does not like the scent of cloves. Place bags of cloves in areas you see them gathering and the scent will help encourage these little bugs find a new home. Placing cloves on your windowsills will prevent them from wanting to come in and drive them away.

Use Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are another scent the lady bug beetle does not like. Place bags of bay leaves in areas you see them and it will aid in getting them out of your home.

Burn Lemon Scented Candles

Burning a few lemon scented candles can help chase the lady bugs out. Burning them as often as possible will help you control them.

Use Lemon Scented Cleaner

A lemon scented cleaner will kill the lady bug beetle. After you have sprayed them you will want to pick up the bugs and dispose of them.

Double-sided Tape

You can place double-sided tape along your window sills and baseboards where you notice the lady bug beetle entering. They will get stuck on the tape and can then be disposed of.

Spraying for Lady Bugs

If you only spray inside your home against the lady bug and not outside; it will do you no good. You must spray outside around the perimeter of your home and especially in the areas such as the top of trees planted close to your home and outdoor walls of your house. This is a time consuming project and to cover the complete area needed can present quite a challenge. If you want to stop the lady bug beetle from invading your living space, you are going to have invest in some time and spray. These are some sprays that have shown effectiveness in preventing the infestation of these miserable bugs:

Onslaught FASTCAP Insecticide

This spray is a fast acting microencapsulated formula that will kill the lady bugs quickly. It is safe for indoors and outdoors in non-food areas. It can be applied to any surface that cannot be hurt by water.

Demand CS Insecticide

This is an effective spray against many different insects. It has no odor and is non-staining. The Demand CS can be indoors and outdoors and works well for perimeter control of pests.

The University of Minnesota Extension Department says that while the lady bug beetle is a discomfort to us when they arrive in large numbers, they do not cause any structural damage to our homes, nor carry any disease. There are a few minor problems associated with them as they can bite hard enough to break skin and secrete a strong smelling liquid that will stain light colored surfaces.

These bugs are not what we want to share our homes with. Hopefully one or more of the above tips will help you eliminate and keep these pests out of your home.

 

The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Mice Fast & Cheaply

Some people love mice as pets, but those who do not call mice pests. These tiny rodents love invading homes and buildings of all kinds even if you dwell in them. For this reason alone is why you must keep homes and buildings tidy. Rodents such as mice are often attracted to old homes and buildings that are easily to crawl into or ones that are extremely dirty with crumbs all over the floors, tables and countertops because they can feast with ease. Knowing exactly what mice are, what they enjoy eating, what they dislike and their favorite dwelling spot goes a lot way to getting rid of them for good.

What exactly are mice?

Well, as you probably already know mice are small rodents with cute little snouts, a pair of small round ears, a little fuzzy body with pinkish-hand like paws and a look hairless tail. Mice can come in a variety of colors and sizes since there are several different species. The most common speeches out of all mice are the typical house mice and field mice. The reason why these tiny mammals are unwanted inside homes or buildings is because their fecal droppings, which they always leave behind during their travels within your house contain dangerous diseases in them that can make human extremely sick. Some of the illnesses you can catch from small mice living inside your home or business building are:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Lassa Fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
  • The Plague
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • South American Arenaviruses
  • Tularemia

 

What attracts mice inside homes and buildings?

Knowing what attracts mice inside homes and buildings is essential for being able to keep them out and away. First, mice can smell all kinds of different foods such as cheese from long distances, but bottom line is mice will eat anything. This is why keeping your home and a building clean and tidy is important. If you leave even crumbs, lying around and there is a small hole or crack within the home or building the mice can sneak into they will.

This also means not leaving trash lying around outside the home either and storing garbage bags in airtight sealed trash bin containers. A squeaky-clean home means a home free of mice. Although, sometimes mice are just attracted to a home or building because it is easy to get into and is the perfect place to build a nest or home during the cold months of autumn and winter. If this is the case, other methods will be useful for keeping mice out.

What are some other mouse prevention methods and other ways to get rid of mice?

When keeping a home or building clean inside and out is not enough to keep rodents away it is time to try other methods. One that works amazingly well is having house cats. Mice do not like the smell of cats simply because cats love dining on mice, but if you are allergic to kitty cats, you can always try methods such as:

  1. Mouse Traps
  2. Mouse Repellents
  3. Filling Holes and Cracks inside the Home or Building to Prevent Mice from Entering
  4. Spraying Peppermint Oil around the Foundation or the Entrances of Where the Mice Enter
  5. Spraying Cat Urine around the Property Line
  6. Plant Mint Plants around the Yard of a Home or Building
  7. Create Your Own Mouse Trap Using a Ruler and a Bucket of Water to Entrap the Mice
  8. Placed Used Cat Litter in the Entrances of Your Home or in the Garage or Basement
  9. Place Snake Poop Wherever the Mice is Entering
  10. Use Ultrasonic Beeping Rodent Repelling Devices

What should I do for severe mice infestations?

If you have a severe mice infestation in your home or business building where the mice are, building nest within the walls it is time to call in the professional exterminators to rid the rodents for good. With that said, after you have the exterminators there you may want to consider removing some drywalls to remove the nests from them so the rodents do not return. It is even wise to put in new installation since again mouse droppings contain harmful diseases, and to fill any holes or cracks within the walls, around the floors and foundation, along windows and doors and anywhere else a mouse can enter with cocking or proper dry wall filling. It is also wise to consider placing peppermint filled cotton balls inside the walls too or within attics, garages and basements to prevent the mice from coming back into the home or building.

Sometimes when you get rid of the rodents, but do not get rid of their nest it ends up attracting new mice back into the space. This is why it is essential to keep up with house repairs and keep spaces clean as well. Mice are so intelligent that they can even fall their old scent, which leaves a trail back into the same area repeat where they got their last bite of food to dine on. Simply washing floors and countertops daily with bleach or a natural herbal cleanser that contains peppermint oil will remove their trail completely so the rodents cannot find their way back in at all.

Get of mice as soon as you notice them… They can hurt you!

If the mice you have in your home are not pets that are cute and friendly, it is time to deal with your mice infestation problem quickly when it is a small issue. Not doing so can lead to large infestations that could potentially get you and your love ones ill and become costly since an exterminator for severe infestations is often necessary in order to rid them permanently. Dealing with the situation as soon as you notice it is your best way of getting rid of mice quickly and effectively from your home for good.

Extra Resources for Rodent Problems:

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