Thursday, September 17, 2020

Yellowjackets - How To Reduce An Infestation

Yellowjackets are very aggressive insects that, when threated, has the ability to inflict very painful stings to its victim multiple times. Its best to stay clear away from them, but just as important, property owners and managers must prevent an infestation.

Yellowjackets resemble Honey Bees because of their similar size and color, however unlike honey bees, yellowjackets are hairless.
There are about 16 species in North America, but three species - the eastern yellowjacket, the southern yellowjacket and the German yellowjacket are the main causes for concern to humans. Depending on the species, the adult workers are about 3/8-5/8" long, but the queens are about 25% larger.

What You Need To Know -  Yellowjackets are seen during the summer months but can be much more visible and in greater numbers in the late summer and early fall season. There are many things that will attract these pests onto properties such as:

1. Overgrown vegetation - if grass, shrubs and bushes are overgrown this will become an ideal area for them to build their nests, either in the dirt or on the shrubs and bushes. This becomes a real problem when people or pets come near the area. It too presents a stinging problem when someone attempts to do any landscaping in the area. So it's important to keep landscapes in good condition.

2. Building Maintenance - building maintenance is very important, since these insects like to nest in open wall voids, such as loose siding, gaps in outside molding, unrepaired or loose brick work, loose facia boards, openings in PVC fences etc. The point is keeping the outside building in good repair will help keep yellowjackets and other stinging insects from nesting on the structure.

3, Garbage - during the late summer into early fall, yellowjackets change their diets to sugar and fatty foods. Keep in mind however that they are opportunistic and will eat whatever is available such as ripe fruit, meat, sweets and garbage. This makes them especially a problem with outdoor eating. They are also found around garbage dumpsters and trash compactors at commercial properties. 

Keeping the inside of garbage cans clean, as well as the lids fully closed will help keep them away, Garbage dumpsters and trash compactors should be cleaned regularly- including scummy build up. In addition to this, keeping the garbage area clean from food scrapes, and liquid spills will help prevent and infestation.


4. Perfumes and Colognes -  yellowjackets are attracted to the scent of perfume and colognes. So  during the warm months be aware that perfumes and colognes can result in yellowjackets flying around and following you when outside. When you start to swat at them is when they often go into attack mode.

Taking practical steps can help avoid an infestation and attacks from yellowjackets.


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Friday, May 5, 2017

Spring Maintenance Is Not An Option

If you want to increase your chances of keeping your home or place of business free of insects and rodents, then spring maintenance is not an option. Warming temperatures and increased rain, starting from March through May, results with insects such as ants, sow bugs, earwigs, flies and of cause mosquitoes to spring into action. Ticks and fleas are a major concern as well due to the relatively warm winter in which they survived. Rodents like mice and rats add to the problem as they are always happy to invade homes and businesses year round.
What can home owners do to protect their family and friends from these pesky, disease carrying  invaders? What can business owners do to protect their employees and/or customers?

                                                                Spring into Action

There are three things that insects and rodents need for survival and to reproduce, they are:
1. Food
2. Water
3. Shelter

Let's begin with food. Insects and rodents are small, so it doesn't take much to satisfy their hunger. If you keep garbage cans and/or dumpsters clean and keep the lids on them, pest will be forced to  find food somewhere else. It's even helpful to have dumpsters and garbage cans treated at least once a month during the spring and summer as an added protection.


 Replace cans and lids if they have holes in them. Holes in the lids not only allow access, but allows rain water to collect in the cans which can result in a breeding area for mosquitoes.

Let's consider water. Insects and rodents thrive when water and moisture are readily available, In fact like humans they can go longer with out food than water. Eliminating water and moisture around the foundation, crawlspaces, basements and attics is very important. Take a look at the condition of your downspouts as an example.

If your downspouts are damaged or not working properly, water can accumulate around the foundation and slowly seep down into the basement creating an excellent environment for insects and rodents to breed. Even if you don't have a basement water sitting around a slab on grade brings insects of all types. Downspouts should extend at least six feet. Additionally the grading around a structure should have enough of a slope so rain water can drain away. Also make sure gutters are clean, free of leaves and dirt, and properly in place.

Finally let's take a look a shelter.  Outdoors, rodents have to move about undercover, that's because they're constantly hunted by predators like birds and cats. Keeping grass cut low and eliminating weeds will help keeps rodents at bay. Low cut grass and a weed free perimeter makes them easily seen by predators and so will discourage them from coming around the property. Keeping fire wood away from the exterior walls will help reduce termite and carpenter ant infestation. It's wise to keep the perimeter of the structure as dry as possible, so remove items that will create a cover for insects and that holds moisture.

Cutting vegetation back at least one foot away from the structure will also keep rodents and insects from invading your home or business.

If vegetation is allowed to grow on the building it will only invite both insects and rodents. The pictures to the right and left are great examples of  maintenance that was neglected at this house. As a result of this over growth mice, bugs, mosquitoes and mold growth was found both inside and outside the house creating an unhealthy environment. Repairing doors, screens, windows, attic louvers, thresholds and cracks on the exterior walls will help keep unwanted guess away.

 Be aware of wood mulch. Wood mulch looks nice and enhances the appearance of  plant beds. It's also great for plants as wood mulch retains moisture to the plants roots, thus reducing the need for watering, but it also attracts wood destroying insects. Having wood mulch treated with Eco friendly products monthly helps reduce wood destroying insect infestation.

Keeping pest away takes a little time and effort. If you want to keep spring and summer pest from taking over your home or business then spring maintenance is not an option. Your local pest control professional will also be happy to give you tips and help with any pest control needs or concerns you may have. If you want to learn more on outside maintenance or exterior home inspections visit www,

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