Every homeowner has no doubt dealt with the unwanted pests in and around their homes. This guide will explore the steps you can take to identify pests and recover from the damage they have done to the exterior of your home.
Common Exterior Pests
Exterior pests can take many forms. Some of the more common pests you may find in your garden or surrounding your home are termites, small rodents such as mice, and various types of insects. Termites are oftentimes very hard to detect and can cause significant damage to both the interior and exterior of the home. Many times, it is best to receive treatment from experienced professionals. Mice and other rodents use the smallest of holes they find in the exterior of your home to gain entry. Finally, there are various types of insects such as fire ants, roaches, or crickets that can make their way inside or infest the exterior of your home.
Prevention and Recovery
It is very hard to prevent infestation of termites, but once detected and treated for, the treatment can last usually up to five years (Potter, 2004). The treatment should not cause any excess harm to the interior or exterior of your home. However, if termites are found again, you may have to call the company to re-treat the area. The time of year matters when preventing pest infestations as Spring is more likely to yield pests. Frank Meeks suggests scanning the exterior of your home seasonally to identify any possible problem areas. Exterior plants and gardens should be kept clean and away from touching the home. Pests can sometimes gain entry to the home or infest the outside of the house by using the plants.
If you have garden decorations, check them periodically to make sure they are not harboring unwanted pests. Clear away debris from the yard and make sure there is no trash or overturned items which pests can live under. Choose the mulch you use for your garden carefully as some insects or rodents may be attracted to it. If necessary, consult a professional about the best type of mulch or soil to use. Finally, make sure that your exterior does not have any standing water as mosquitoes and other pests are drawn to the stagnant water. It is suggested to change out the water in any bird baths or ponds at least once a week, and keep pools covered and clean (Meeks, 2006).
Fire ants are known to be quite aggressive and attack children and pets. The ants tend to be attracted to cold dark places, and oftentimes electric boxes. These ants are capable of making giant nests or mounds sprawling several feet. Carpenter and fire ant control can perhaps be attained by checking your exterior electric boxes, or air conditioning units for any ant colonies. If you have access underneath your home, make sure it is not readily accessible for ants and other insects to find. Treating for fire ants and other invasive insects is usually obtained by using different types of baits and sprays to kill and repel. Recovering of a fire ant or other infestation can sometimes be difficult. However, diligence in keeping your yard clean and free of debris can be the best defense.
Homeowners must remember to take the necessary steps in preventing unwanted pests so that the damage done to the exterior of the home is not irreparable. Remember to periodically check your yard and garden seasonally for debris or overturned items. Insects such as fire ants prefer the cool dark places that you may sometimes overlook. Damage done to the exterior of your home can usually be fixed by calling an experienced professional to rid your home of pests, and then taking the necessary steps to maintain a pest free environment for seasons to come.