THE CHANGE OF SEASONS COULD BRING OCCASIONAL INVADERS
Franklin Pest Control warns homeowners to be on the lookout for uncommon pests
Many pests such as ants are so widespread and recognizable that people barely notice them underfoot. Franklin Pest Control, a pest management company servicing northwest Indiana, wants homeowners to be aware that this time of year can bring more uncommon household pests such as centipedes and crickets. These occasional invaders may be more prevalent as spring approaches.
Indiana pest control tips for this spring season
“Occasional invaders do not often find their way indoors unless conditions outside threaten their survival. However, they cannot survive very long without a significant source of moisture, so many will die within a few weeks of coming inside,” said Dave Sloop, branch manager for Franklin Pest Control Michigan City. “These pests are often considered nuisance pests and pose no major health threats, but several do have the ability to sting or bite.”
- Take time to inspect the outside of the home for easy access points, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter. Seal any small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Use steel wool to fill larger gaps and holes, as pests are often deterred away from the roughness of the steel fibers.
- Keep an eye out for signs of termite damage, such as mud tubes, soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, and cracked or bubbling paint.
- Properly landscape by keeping the grass cut low and ensuring tree branches, shrubbery and other vegetation is well trimmed and away from the house.
- Clean out leaves and other debris from the gutters to prevent standing water, which can provide the perfect breeding ground for pests.
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Screen windows, attic vents and openings to chimneys. Repair any rips or tears.
- Direct water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units.
- Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house.
- Keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the foundation.
- Dispose of garbage regularly in a sealed trash bin.
- Keep kitchens clean by wiping down counter tops and sweeping floors to remove crumbs and residue from spills. Also, store food in sealed containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
- Vacuum at least once a week.
- Keep pet bowls clean and wipe up any spilled food or water around them promptly. Store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in.
- Consult your vet about a preventative treatment for dogs and cats to help ward off fleas and ticks.
- Routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture and repair any leaky pipes. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics.
What are occasional invaders?
Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) have shared a list of occasional invaders that homeowners might encounter:
Centipedes – House centipedes have poisonous jaws to inject their prey with venom. If handled roughly, some larger species can inflict a painful bite that can break human skin and cause pain and swelling, similar to a bee sting.
Earwigs – Contrary to popular myths, earwigs do not burrow into people’s brains at night. However, they are known to live together in large numbers. Earwigs can be found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes, and they can gain entry to a structure through exterior cracks.
House Crickets – House crickets are nocturnal and usually hide in dark warm places during the day. Indoors, they can eat away at fabric, leaving holes and are especially attracted to soiled clothes.
Boxelder bugs – These emerge to bask in the sun as weather begins to warm. Boxelder bugs aggregate in large clusters near the vegetation they feed on. You’ll find them on the south and west sides of your house, where the sun shines. They don’t bite or sting, but are very annoying and their excrement can stain surfaces.
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For more information on occasional pest invaders, please visit Franklin’s website.