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Common Misconceptions About Pests

Common-Misconceptions-Of-Pest-In-Your-Home

If we hear things enough, we tend to start thinking those things are fact.  When it pertains to pests in your home, things that you’ve ‘heard’ aren’t necessarily facts.  At Holistic Pest Solutions, we are mindful of our clients AND our Earth and we want to help clear up those common misconceptions about pests in your home.

“I haven’t seen any cockroaches/mice/creepy crawlies, so I don’t have a problem”

This is the biggest myth on this list. If you think that vermin can’t hide from you, you’re sadly mistaken. Humans have designed our habitats to be hospitable—after all, what animal wouldn’t want to live in a place with food, clean water, and protection from the elements? Pests have evolved to live alongside us and take advantage of this hospitality without being noticed. Unless you check every square inch of your home regularly, you probably have some type of pest living with you.

“My home is super clean. There’s no way I have pests”

There’s a theory unwanted house-guests are attracted to unclean areas, and while it’s true that many pests may flock to the occasional missed crumb on the floor, they certainly don’t need it to be compelled to enter your home. You can scrub your home until every surface sparkles and the vermin will still come.  Your home is warm, has resources for nesting, food, water, and it is protected, for the most part, from threats of weather and predators. There are plenty more reasons than messiness to attract them into your abode.

That said, you do need to be aware of potential food sources. Roaches will eat almost any form of organic matter—including hair and fingernail clippings. Protecting your food from pests is harder than you might think. Mice, for example, can jump up to a foot in the air, squeeze through a hole the size of dime, and climb notoriously well. That means you can’t simply place food on a higher shelf or shut it behind a door and call it a day. And the merest scrap of food can go a long way – they typically only eat 3 grams of food a day (that’s only 8 lbs all year).  You may have locked up all your food, but it takes a lot of work to rid your home of every crumb—and each crumb makes a meal for a mouse or an insect. Second, if pests can’t get food and water from your kitchen or faucets, they can often find it somewhere else. An animal might set up camp in your home, but venture out to, say, the yard for its meals. Also, apartment dwellers, for example, often share utilities, which make easy highways for pests to travel between units looking for resources.

Finally, many types of pests can endure for long periods of time without eating or drinking. Flea eggs can lie dormant for up to a year. Roaches can survive for up to a month without food, and a week without water.

My cat can catch the mice

Cats are one of the earliest forms of pest control.  Some even hunt the imaginary bugs!  But while cats are effective predators, they have a hunting range. Unless your pet has free run of the entire house, from the attic to the basement to the cabinets under your sinks, pests will simply hide where it won’t—or can’t—go. Really bad rodent infestations will defy even the most tenacious mouser, because there’s only so many pests a cat can kill in a day.

My house is on a concrete/brick slab, so I can’t get termites

This is a very common misconception. While it might be true that a home made of brick or stone placed on concrete can be better protected against termites, it is not 100% guaranteed. Typically, all homes have a wooden frame, and many also have wooden siding, decks, and other similar features. No matter how much the wood is separated from direct contact with the soil, the termites can and will work their way to it unless suitably deterred.

What actually works?

To make your home unattractive to vermin, your best bet is preventative repairs and cleaning. Maintain your plumbing carefully to prevent even small leaks, which pests can use as a water source. Weather-seal the outside of your home and garage to make it more difficult for tiny intruders to squeeze in. Fill in small spaces where rodents or insects might hide with insulation or other materials (preferably something that doesn’t submit easily to gnawing or chewing). Seal up anything organic that might be eaten—this includes items like shoe polish and trash—in thick plastic or metal containers, and keep these vessels out of the way in cupboards.

CONTACT Holistic Pest Solutions if you need a free consultation for a pest problem or treatment any pests; or give us a call at 434 842 1700.  Whether you’re in Charlottesville, Palmyra, Keswick, Ivy, Crozet, Earlysville, Greene, Madison, Waynesboro, or Staunton, Holistic Pest Solutions has the perfect plan and we’re mindful of our clients AND our Earth.

*Our Environmental Commitment:  Holistic Pest Solutions is committed to the preservation of our environment. Our goal is to nurture the soils and plant life of lawns and landscapes.  Utilizing holistic pest control practices that cause the least amount of impact on the environment.

The Trouble With Your Jack O Lantern

The Trouble With Your Jack O Lantern

The season for scary tricks and spooky treats is upon us. Get those decorations ready, make your scarecrows, purchase your candy, and carve those pumpkins! Maybe think twice before the pumpkin carving though. Something really scary could happen if you carve those pumpkins too soon. There are some pests that will be attracted to your jack o lantern and you would not like them in your home. So what is the trouble with your Jack O Lantern?  Let’s find out.

Pumpkin Spice Is So Nice, But Pumpkin Pest Are A Mess!

Your family eating those tasty pumpkin pies, breads and lattes make us ALL LOVE FALL. Unfortunately, rats and mice will take notice of a freshly carved pumpkin and see it as a great feast! Fruit flies and ants will be attracted to pumpkins as well, and will likely show up for the feast.

Best Way To Enjoy A Scary Pumpkin

We can’t just go without a jack o lantern. How can we still have the scary, smiling, orange blob without inviting unwelcome guest to your home?  If you want to have one inside, just don’t keep it for very long and check it a few times a  day for any signs of interested intruders. It would be best to carve it right before Halloween and then remove it right after.

Keep outdoor jack-o’-lanterns further from your home and remove them before they rot.  If you want to completely avoid the chance of attracting pumpkin-eating-pests, you could choose artificial pumpkins that can be carved or just paint faces on an uncarved pumpkin.

The trouble with your Jack O Lantern doesn’t have to be trouble at all!  Make good choices and have fun!

If you suspect that you have pests in or near your home, Holistic Pest Solutions can provide you with a free assessment, suggestions, and treatment for long term control if you need it.  Give us a call at 434 842 1700.  Whether you’re in Charlottesville, Waynesboro, or close by to either; Holistic Pest Solutions has the perfect plan that is mindful of our clients AND our Earth.

*Our Environmental Commitment:  Holistic Pest Solutions is committed to the preservation of our environment. Our goal is to nurture the soils and plant life of lawns and landscapes.  Utilizing holistic pest control practices that cause the least amount of impact on the environment.

Mosquito Biting Season Tips

Mosquito Bites

Nearly everyone knows the awful sensation, the quiet buzz, then the irritating little sting. It means mosquitoes have arrived, and they’ve found whatever skin you’ve left vulnerable. Many people may not know much about mosquitoes except how they wreak havoc on your backyard barbecue or even the short walk to your front door. We will explore how Virginia’s hot and humid weather equals mosquito biting season, so you can be better prepared.

HOT AND HUMID WEATHER – A MOSQUITO’S BEST FRIEND

It’s known that mosquitoes enjoy wet and warm climates. The southern US is favored mosquito territory, and GUESS WHAT?  That’s us. Certain weather conditions can bring mosquitoes out in force, wherever you live. They are most active in temperatures above 80 degrees. As temperatures climb higher, mosquito activity can decline. Mosquitoes will bite less when it becomes excessively hot. However, higher temperatures also make any diseases they carry more active and hence more transmissible. So when mosquitoes are around, a cool spell following very hot temperatures could be ripe for mosquito borne diseases, as highly infectious mosquitoes increase their biting activity. Just as important, relatively high nighttime lows increase mosquito activity. So if nights are warm for an extended period, the mosquitoes will be worse at other times as well.

RAIN, the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY

Mosquitoes have a high affinity for warm, standing water. Any stagnant pond or even waterlogged junk you forgot to clean up is ripe for mosquito infestation. On the other hand, where standing water already existed prior, rainfall can disrupt the eggs that have been laid and therefore inhibit later mosquito activity. But once it passes this same rainfall will increase mosquito infestations if the water tends to pool nearby. Young mosquitoes will spend about ten days in the water only, so if a pool forms you may have some time before the problem becomes serious. The bottom line is to prevent pockets of extra, stagnant moisture whenever possible, as soon as possible.

Mosquito Biting Season TipsAll a female mosquito needs is an inch of water to lay batches of 100 to 200 eggs. Once she has laid her eggs, they hatch into larvae within 24 to 48 hours.  In general, heavy rains increase the numbers of mosquitoes in the area, and we all know that Virginia has received it’s share of heavy rain lately.

CONTACT Holistic Pest Solutions to learn more about our mosquito treatment plans or give us a call at 434 842 1700.  Whether you’re in Charlottesville, Waynesboro, or close by to either, Holistic Pest Solutions has the perfect plan that is mindful of our clients AND our Earth.

*Our Environmental Commitment:  Holistic Pest Solutions is committed to the preservation of our environment. Our goal is to nurture the soils and plant life of lawns and landscapes.  Utilizing holistic pest control practices that cause the least amount of impact on the environment.

Sam Payne

SERVICE SUPERVISOR: Albemarle Class of 07; raising a family here in Charlottesville; loves everything UVA; loves sports; plays golf; and has been with Holistic Pest Solutions since January 2013. Sam is the right hand here at HPS. We are excited to see him grow with us.

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