Summer Insects and Rodents

You invest alot of money into your home and your landscape, you are proud of what you have done and the upkeep to properly maintain is enough without the added pain of the summer time pests. We have had issues at our home with the pesky little critters and besides being annoying, they can be quite destructive.

The carpenter bee, has to be one of the most destructive insects that I have come across, they would be wonderful if you could train them but unfortunately that is not the case. These little buggers look like you common everyday bumble bee, but can drill like the best on the market. We have had them in about every piece of wood that is exposed and they can get at. They have drilled holes in our deck, the facia, our kennels and our pavilion. They are relentless and come as a group, where you see one, you will see many more. Exploring options to get rid of these guys lead me to the local extension office, you can use the usual expensive products and insecticides on the market, but good ole WD 40 did the trick for us. They hate the stuff and it does not require as many applications, it holds on to the wood and keeps the pesky little critters away.

Ants have become an issue as the rain pours and the outside of the house is too wet for them, they come in and make themselves at home. If you have garbage or rubbish laying around, they will stay. I found that keeping the counters clear of any sugar, food and liquid will pretty much deter them, I did buy the can of raid, but a good thorough cleaning took care of them before I had to spray the raid and expose family and pets to the smell. I found my problem areas to be the kitchen counters, the closet where I keep my trash can and in my bathrooms. Some strong bleach water and a little elbow grease and they were history.

House spiders, I swear they live in the tub in the summer, getting rid of them is something that requires a constant upkeep. They are especially active at night. Once you locate them, you must identify what you are dealing with. There are sprays and dusts on the market that will take care of your problem. Note that you must treat once and then again thirty days later to kill off any eggs that have been laid or your infestation will start all over again.

Mice, although they are usually a winter time problem they will invade you home in the summer also, keeping your home free of food and debris will keep these little buggers at bay, if they can’t eat, they will move on. Getting rid of mice is pretty simple, first off you must clean, then set the traps, there are a variety of traps on the market, to include a few that traps the little fur ball in a box and you don’t have to see or touch the rodent. I have found that a good ole tomcat will do the trick also. Even if you not a cat person, these guys are supposedly natural enemies. Our cat, along with some rat and mouse bait keeps this problem pretty much under control.

Snakes, I myself do not consider these guys pests, I have a black snake that lives in and around my garage and picking up his shedding skin is the biggest headache I have had with him, he eats the mice, moles and other furry critters, he can stay. The garden snakes are welcome too, they eat up the bugs and insects. I may occasionally be startled by one being where I don’t expect them, but I can live with that. Just had a garden snake lay on the wood pile for 2 days with a lump in his belly bigger than himself by 4 times, that mouse or chipmunk won’t be tearing up any pet food or chewing up my wiring, Snacks are welcome here.

When considering pest control be sure to be cautious and safe about where and how you put it out and how you dispose of the dead. Pets that eat a mouse that has been poisoned will in-turn be poisoned. Children may be curious of many of these items also, a mouse trap would probably only pinch a finger but rat bait would be a treat to poison control and can be fatal. Be sure to head all warnings associated with using any device or poison.
Keep in mind also that their are some folks out there who have use for some insects, for example the honey bees, not my cup of tea, but there are folks out there who will come take these guys off your hands most of the time free of charge just to have them. Contact your local pest control or game commission to find out who does this type of work locally.

These are just some ideas that have worked for us, good luck and hopefully, you can regain control of your kingdom.

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