How to Protect Against Summertime Pests

It is officially summer and thoughts of swimming, vacations, and lazy days are on the brain! What you may not be considering is that, as the days are getting longer and hotter, summertime pests are becoming more active. These pests, including ants, flies , wasps, gnats, and rodents, are also looking to escape the sun and heat and often find refuge from it in and around your home. The last thing anybody wants to do during their summer break is deal with a pest infestation. Below are some simple steps you can follow to keep pests from invading this summer.

In the kitchen:

  1. Keep kitchen counters clean and free from crumbs
  2. Be sure to store food in airtight containers and on higher shelves
  3. Don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink
  4. Take trash out on a regular basis
  5. Don’t leave pet food dishes out all day
  6. Keep fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator whenever possible and throw them away when they become overripe

In the basement and/or attic:

  1. Declutter and eliminate any piles of clothing or other items
  2. Keep basements and attics ventilated and dry
  3. Be on the lookout for holes in the walls and for possible hiding places

Outside your home:

  1. Maintain your lawn with regular mowing and trimming
  2. Keep firewood far away from your home
  3. Replace weather stripping around windows
  4. Repair any cracks, loose mortar, or openings around the foundation of your home
  5. Divert rainwater, sprinklers, and other sources of moisture away from your home
  6. Eliminate standing water

Most importantly, call a pest control expert if you suspect that you have an infestation or need guidance and support in preventing one. We at Freedom Pest Control have the knowledge and expertise to help you stay pest free this summer. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 or live-chat on our website with one of our customer service representatives today!

 

Cluster Flies

With spring here, and summer right around the corner, it is not unusual to find the occasional fly inside your home. These quick little guys often get into your home through cracks in a screen, open doors or windows, and behind children as they come in from playing outside. However, if you’re finding more than just a few flies in your home during this time of year, you may have a problem with cluster flies.

Cluster Fly

Cluster flies normally live outdoors but, in the late summer, they begin looking for a place to overwinter. They will gather on a sunny side of a house and, as night falls, they may make their way through cracks in windows or gaps in siding. They overwinter between the inside and outside walls of a home until the days get warmer and longer. This is when they may start to appear inside your home.

Beyond being annoying, cluster flies are generally harmless because they do not bite and aren’t attracted to garbage. However, if these flies are dead or dying inside your walls, they can attract other pests and lead to a much larger pest infestation problem.

Cluster Fly Characteristics

  1. They are sluggish and are often found clustering around windows and light bulbs because they are attracted to the light.
  2. Cluster flies are larger than they typical house fly
  3. Their bodies are a dark, non-metallic gray with a black checkered body
  4. Cluster flies overlap their wings when at rest

Cluster Fly Prevention

To keep cluster flies at bay, follow some of these simple tips: fill all cracks in and around the home, make sure that your screens don’t have any holes, install special fly lights.

Because a cluster fly infestation can lead to bigger pest problems, it is important to talk with a pest control expert about how to eliminate this problem. We at Freedom Pest Control can help you create and execute a plan of action. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your in-home estimate or live-chat with one of our customer service representatives for an instant quote!

Facts about Termites

A termite infestation is never good news and should be dealt with immediately upon being discovered. Termites cause billions of dollars of damage to homes and business on an annual basis. Nevertheless, termites and termite swarmers are quite interesting. Read on to learn more about these wood-eating menaces:

They’re ancient
Termites, a relation to the cockroach, have been on earth for over 200 milion years

They have a varied palate
Some termites will eat just about anything that is made from plants, in addition to wood. Some have even been known to chew on plastic.

They shed their wings
When they set out to create a new colony, reproductive termites grow wings. Once the new colony is established, they shed their wings.

Workers and soldiers are blind
Because they spend their lives in dark, damp locations, the worker and soldier termites have no need for sight.

24/7
Termites never sleep and are constantly eating. This is one major reason why they are so destructive.

They’re slow
Even though they never take a break, a colony only eats about a pound or two of wood per day.

They like to tunnel
Rather than eating large chunks of wood at a time, termites prefer to eat in tunnels. This habit can ruin a structure.

Colonies work together
A structure with extensive termite damage has likely been caused by multiple colonies.

Busy Queens
A queen termite lays millions of eggs in one lifetime

They’re head bangers
When a threat is detected, termites will bang their heads against walls to send warning vibrations to the rest of the colony.

We at Freedom Pest Control are experts in termite treatments. Please call us today at 877-55-PESTS to schedule your in-home evaluation today! Or, live-chat with one of our customer service representatives for an instant quote!

Keep Your Yard Pest Free

Spring weather was slow to arrive in New England this year so it’s likely that you’re still working to get your yard in tip-top shape. Before you dive into your spring clean-up and gardening, take a moment to consider how you can also prevent pests from taking up residence in your yard. Keeping your yard pest free will make it a more enjoyable space for you and your family and will also reduce the risk of pests making their way into your home. Here are some precautions you can take today:

Pest Free Yard

  1. Treat your yard to prevent against ticks and mosquitos. Our sister company, Mosquito Busters, can help guide you towards a method that is safe and effective.
  2. When considering your landscape design, keep plants and shrubs at least 18 to 24 inches away from the foundation of your house. Also, trim back trees and plants that might be too close to your home.
  3. Note damage that has been made to your lawn, deck, patio, or outdoor furniture over the winter. Damage may be a sign that pests have been present over the winter months. Our experts can help you to determine if you have an infestation problem.
  4. Use pressure treated wood when building raised garden beds, outdoor structures, and playground equipment. Pressure treated wood resists rot and decay, two things which attract pests.
  5. Make sure your mulch and wood chips are no thicker than three inches.
  6. Pests are drawn to piles of wet and rotting yard waste. Clearing your yard of leaves, twigs, and standing water will eliminate this problem.
  7. Remove dead trees, dying trees, and tree stumps before ants and termites find them!
  8. Finally, be sure to clean your gutters out at least twice a year.

Freedom Pest Control can help you determine if you have a pest infestation in your yard and can eliminate those pests. Call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your evaluation today!

 

 

Carpenter Ants are Interesting Insects

Spring in New England means warmer temperatures, longer days, and the return of carpenter ants! These ants typically remain dormant during the winter months and begin to become more active as the temperature increases. Carpenter ants like to nest in moist or decayed wood and do not eat wood but, instead, chew it and spit it out. They’re name comes from the fact that they are skilled carpenters and make long tunnels in the wood in which they live. Carpenter ants prefer to eat sweet foods and meat scraps which is why we often find them around dishwashers, sinks, and dog bowls.

Interesting Insects         

Even though an ant infestation can be incredibly frustrating and downright gross, carpenter ants are fascinating little insects:

They’re strong!
In fact, they can lift things that are at least seven times their own weight

They’re good at finding their way home!
These ants leave behind a chemical substance as they travel and use their antennae to find their way back home. They can also recognize their fellow ants by the chemicals on their bodies.

They bite!
Carpenter ants can bite and will inject acid into the skin, making for a very unpleasant experience.

They’re neat!
As in, clean! Carpenter ants are very hygienic and keep their nests incredibly tidy.

They have a sweet tooth!
Carpenter ants are attracted to sweet foods like honey, syrup, and jelly.

They’re big!
Carpenter ants are one of the biggest types of ants and range from one sixteenth of an inch to half of an inch long. Queens can sometimes grow even bigger.

They can live a long time!
The Queens can live up to twenty-five years. Imagine how many millions of babies that an ant with this lifespan can produce!

Nonetheless, an ant infestation can cause damage to your home if it is left untreated. Please call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule your free in-home evaluation!