Tag Archives: spiders

Fall Pest Prevention Tips

The weather has finally started to cool and fall is setting in. You may see an increase in pest activity such as spiders and mice.  These pests will be on the lookout for a place to keep warm through winter but before you get all cozy inside your home we have some great fall pest prevention tips to follow.

 

  • Keep your yard clutter free, free of leaf litter and free of unnecessary items. Many insects and rodents will seek shelter in piles of clutter
  • Store firewood as far away from your home as reasonably possible (at least 20-30 feet away from the home)
  • Don’t stack firewood directly on the ground. Use concrete blocks, bricks or firewood grates to keep the wood from direct contact with the ground. Maintaining good airflow underneath the wood pile will help reduce moisture as many insects are attracted to moisture.
  • Do not let water sit stagnant in the yard. Make sure flower pots drain properly, rain water isn’t collecting where it shouldn’t be (check gutters too), bird baths.
  • Pets should get fresh water daily, food and water bowls should not be left out all night
  • Remove all grass and weeds from around the foundation. Creating a gravel or stone barrier (about two feet) between the lawn and the foundation of the home will help reduce insects climbing onto your home. Material such as pea gravel can be helpful
  • Foundations vents should have proper fitting screens free of holes and tears. Open/screens with holes will allow rodents access underneath your house, and that is not a good problem to have. Stray cats may also find their way into the crawl space when seeking warm shelter. They’ll have no reason to move on if there are plenty of mice to eat.

 

Following fall prevention tips like this can save you headache and money in the future.  Making your home less attractive to the pest can reduce their numbers if you are seeing them around your home.

Beneficial Insects and Your Garden

Keeping unwanted insects and the creepy crawlies out of the house is on most people’s agenda, but what about in the garden?  Not are insects are harmful to your garden plants, in fact there are many insects that are actually beneficial.  The beneficial insects are like watch dogs for your garden; they will be your aide and rid your garden of the harmful pests.

What are some common beneficial garden insects?  Here are a few examples:

  • Lady Bugs: The lady bug is one of the most popular of the beneficial insects.  Lady bugs are the perfect opponent to have on your side when battling pesky aphids.  These helpful beetles also eat mealy bugs and other soft bodied insects.
  • Praying Mantis: The praying mantis is like the T-Rex of the garden, it can handle even the largest garden insect pest. They have the ability to camouflage with the surroundings of the garden and snatch up a great deal of pests.
  • Green Lacewings: The adult green lacewings feed on honeydew, nectar and pollen.  The green lacewing larvae are where the benefits start to kick in.  The larvae will consume crazy amounts of aphids and also feast on other soft bodied insects.
  • Spiders: Ok, so spiders aren’t every ones favorite helpful side kick, but they can sure stay on top of insect control in the garden.  The great thing is that, spiders won’t harm your plants; they’re just there to hang out and catch some dinner in their web.  Spiders will eat many insects such as aphids, caterpillars, flies and many other pests they may be trying to eat your plants.

Next time you think you may need a little extra help in the garden, don’t forget about all the beneficial garden helpers out there!  If you are working a professional pest control company, you can ask for your garden and surrounding area not to be treated.

Early Spring Cleaning Tips

As pest professionals, were here to remind you about early spring cleaning tips and to get a jump start on the “spring” cleaning around the home.  It’s safe to say we have definitely had a mild winter and some great temperatures the last few weeks.  With it being so warm out, this is the time that those pests seem to try and make up for lost time and come out of nowhere. Spiders are out making new webs, ants are marching along, mosquitoes start annoying, and bill bugs start eating away at lawns. But don’t fret, even if you don’t use a professional pest control company there are some ways you can help prepare your home to help keep it pest free this season!

Being proactive and following Alpha’s Early Spring Cleaning Tips.

Inside:

Clean out common clutter areas such as basements, attics, closets, under beds, and even bookshelves. Areas with clutter generally don’t get disturbed too much and make a nice place for pests and rodents to make a home and start a family. Keeping these areas clear of clutter and clean will minimize the hiding spots for many pests. The kitchen should also get a good deep clean. Go beyond cleaning up daily crumbs and spills. Check behind and under appliances for pest activity and give it a good wipe down while you’re there. Wipe down cupboard shelves, and inside of drawers, removing all crumbs and debris. Don’t forget the pantry. Dispose of expired foods, vacuum the floor and shelves, and wipe down all the shelves. If you keep a trashcan in the pantry give it a quick rinse, removing spills or sticky spots that may have occurred.

Outside:

You can start by raking up the yard. Getting rid of leaves, old mulch, and picking up fallen tree limbs can help keep pests away. Trim back bushes and trees away from the house. Just like clutter, overgrown trees and branches make a great home of all kinds of insects and pests. Insects and rodents can get through some of the smallest of holes. Check the outside of your home for holes and/or cracks and make sure all window screens fit properly and are in good condition. Check for any standing water and remove it to help reduce mosquitoes.

Another thing that a lot of people seem to forget is the outside trashcan. Trashcans can attract all types of pests such as ants, bees, wasps, mice, even stray cats! On the day that your trash has been picked up, use a garden hose and spray inside of the trashcan, leave the lid open and let it dry in the sunshine.

Alpha Home Pest Control encourages you to be proactive against unwanted spring pests. If you feel you need help preparing your home for spring or think you may already have a pest problem, don’t hesitate to call us!

Staying Pest Free During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again, busy holidays and a new year about to begin. The holidays can be a hectic time with friends and family coming and going for visits, it’s easy to get distracted from the little things that help keep your home tidy and pest free. Here at Alpha Home Pest Control we understand and are ready to help you take action. You don’t want to wait until spring time to tackle an issue, being aware and proactive plays a key role to staying pest free.

Check out our holiday tip’s to keep those unwanted guests out!

  • It may sound obvious, but check for pieces of food/crumbs that the vacuum couldn’t reach (under and behind the stove and fridge), that may have gone unnoticed during those busy family visits. Be sure to check under cabinets, tables, sofas and other furniture as well.
  • Check out spare rooms that may not normally be used as much, look for the crumbs, rodent droppings and chewed paper.  Spare rooms that aren’t used often can easily become a sanctuary for rodents and spiders, they like hiding spots that won’t be disturbed so be sure to routinely check and clean spare rooms.
  • Always clean up crumbs and food leftovers right away, leaving no invitation to attract pests
  • With holidays comes food and baking sweet treats. Don’t leave food sitting out overnight; be sure to keep it stored properly in sealed containers. *This tip also applies to pet food!*
  • Check around doors and windows for gaps. Caulk and seal where needed and be sure to check weather stripping and screens for tears.
  • Check your crawlspace for rodent activity, look for rodent droppings, chewed wires, papers and any area the rodent may use for nesting. Inspect foundation vents, make sure they have a tight fit and screens free of rips and tears.
  • If you did any traveling check your luggage and clothes for possible bed bugs.  It’s more common than you’d like to believe how common it is to pick up bedbugs while traveling.  Bedbugs love to travel and are always ready to hitch a free ride. No one wants to think about it but it’s a lot better to catch it before it becomes an infestation.
  • And lastly, Stay Proactive!

Call us with any questions/concerns or to learn more about a preventative maintenance program with us (208) 475-4440

Keep Pests Out

At Alpha Home Pest Control we encourage our clients to be proactive, using proper exclusion tactics and making their homes “unattractive” to the pests, helping keep pests out.

Here are some common Q and A’s for homeowners to help understand why being proactive is important.

 

Q: What attracts pests to your home?

A: If you think about it, like most living things pests are attracted to and need food, water and shelter. Making sure you have followed good exclusion techniques and sealing up/off food and water will help keep pests at bay. Using air tight containers to store food (including extra pet food) and repairing leaky pipes and drains will make your home less attractive and the pests will be less likely to stay.

 

Q: How do pests find their way in?

A: Pests commonly find their way into homes through windows and doors that do not have a tight seal when closed and through cracks that may be around the window or doors. They don’t always crawl or fly in, sometimes they are carried in by you or even your pet! Groceries, firewood, and luggage are ways that pests can be carried into the home unseen. Be sure to inspect any packages and belongings before bringing them inside.  Another thing to add the check list is foundation vents, inspect the screen for any holes or being loose, correct any problems right away.  Broken foundation vents are a welcome mat for mice, other insects and even cats!

We always advise that firewood not be stored against the house.  Firewood attracts many pests’ spiders, ants, and termites to name a few.  Termites can cause a lot of damage and can be a very costly expense.  Another tip to follow is having about a 2 in. gap between your foundation and plants and grass.  Allowing bushes and shrubs to grow so closely to your home creates a stepping stone for pests and critters that may want inside.

 

Q: What to do if you have an infestation or starting to see more pest activity?

A: If you find yourself having pests issues and are unsure of how to properly handle the problem, call your pest management right away before the issue multiplies, which can slow down the elimination process and be more costly.

 

Call Alpha Home Pest Control (208)475-4440

http://www.alphahomepestcontrol.com

Fall Pest Prevention

The weather has finally started to cool and summer is winding down.  You may see an increase in pest activity such as spiders and mice.  These pests will be on the lookout for a place to keep warm through winter but before you get all cozy inside your home we have some great fall pest prevention tips to follow.

 

  • Keep your yard clutter free, free of leaf litter and free of unnecessary items. Many insects and critters will seek shelter in piles of clutter
  • Store firewood as far away from your home as reasonably possible (at least 20-30 feet away from the home)
  • Don’t stack firewood directly on the ground. Use concrete blocks, bricks or firewood grates to keep the wood from direct contact with the ground. Maintaining good airflow underneath the wood pile will help reduce moisture as many insects are attracted to moisture.
  • Do not let water sit stagnant in the yard. Make sure flower pots drain properly, rain water isn’t collecting where it shouldn’t be (check gutters too), bird baths.
  • Pets should get fresh water daily, food and water bowls should not be left out all night
  • Remove all grass and weeds from around the foundation. Creating a gravel or stone barrier (about two feet) between the lawn and the foundation of the home will help reduce insects climbing onto your home. Material such as pea gravel can be helpful
  • Foundations vents should have proper fitting screens free of holes and tears. Open/screens with holes will allow rodents access underneath your house, and that is not a good problem to have. Stray cats may also find their way into the crawl space when seeking warm shelter. They’ll have no reason to move on if there are plenty of mice to eat.

Following fall prevention tips like this can save you headache and money in the future.  Making your home less attractive to the pest can reduce their numbers if you are seeing them around your home.

Beneficial Insects in the Garden

Keeping unwanted insects and the creepy crawlies out of the house is on most people’s agenda, but what about in the garden?  Not are insects are harmful to your garden plants, in fact there are many insects that are actually beneficial.  The beneficial insects are like watch dogs for your garden; they will be your aide and rid your garden of the harmful pests.

What are some common beneficial garden insects?  Here are a few examples:

  • Lady Bugs:  The lady bug is one of the most popular of the beneficial insects.  Lady bugs are the perfect opponent to have on your side when battling pesky aphids.  These helpful beetles also eat mealy bugs and other soft bodied insects.

 

  • Praying Mantis: The praying mantis is like the T-Rex of the garden, it can handle even the largest garden insect pest.  They have the ability to camouflage with the surroundings of the garden and snatch up a great deal of pests.

 

  • Green Lacewings:  The adult green lacewings feed on honeydew, nectar and pollen.  The green lacewing larvae are where the benefits start to kick in.  The larvae will consume crazy amounts of aphids and also feast on other soft bodied insects.

 

  • Spiders:  Ok, so spiders aren’t every ones favorite helpful side kick, but they can sure stay on top of insect control in the garden.  The great thing is that, spiders won’t harm your plants; they’re just there to hang out and catch some dinner in their web.  Spiders will eat many insects such as aphids, caterpillars, flies and many other pests they may be trying to eat your plants.

Next time you think you may need a little extra help in the garden, don’t forget about all the beneficial garden helpers out there!  If you are working the a professional pest control company, you can ask for your garden and surrounding area not to be treated.

Grass Spider

Grass spiders also known as the funnel web spider, one of the most distinctive things about the Grass Spider is their web.  Grass spiders tend to make their webs near the ground in the grass, weeds, fence lines and even wood piles.  What is interesting about the grass spiders web is the tunnel or cave that will usually be located off to one side. Grass spiders are more of the wait and attack type.  They don’t wait for prey to get tangled and stuck in the web, in fact their webs are not sticky like most other spider webs.  Grass spiders are quick and the tunnel works as an advantage for the spider as it makes it harder for prey to escape.  Once prey stumbles into the tunnel web the grass spider will attack.

Grass spiders are often mistaken for wolf spiders.  Although they do share similar colors, light brown to grayish and have light and dark strips near the head of the bod.  Grass spiders have much thinner bodies than wolf spiders. Grass spiders also have noticeable spinnerets from where they produce their web.

Grass spiders aren’t typically an indoor invader but you may notice them when temperatures start to drop in the fall.  Grass spiders can be unsightly to look at but these guys are low risk to humans and are unlikely to bite, unless threaten.  Grass spiders are actually considered to be beneficial to gardens and as a use of “organic” pest control.

False Black Widow

Some people may have never heard about the False Black Widow.  The false black widow spider is not as famous as the true black widow, but it does share a similar body shape.  The false black widow female is 6-10 millimeters in length, its color ranges from a purple-brown to black with light yellow markings. The shape of the false black widow is very similar to the true black widow with the bulbous body being more oval in shape.  The false black does not have the famous “hourglass” shape on its belly.

Like the true black widow, the false black widow also makes its web to look like jumbled irregular shape.  The spider relies on a messy web to catch prey such as small insects and other spiders which reports have included the true black widow.

Spring is when these spiders mate.  Females can produce 3 or more egg sacs each mating season, with each egg sacs that can contain 200 plus eggs.  It is reported that the males do not live long after mating with a life span of about 18-20 months.  False black widows can be found living in man-made structures year round, outside they can be found in cracks and crevices of rocks, under bark and on foliage growing low to the ground.

As for bites and venom, the false black widow can and may bite but usually only when threatened and in defense.  The bites of a false black widow are similar but much less severe than from a true black widow.  Some of the symptoms include moderate to severe pain at the bite site, nausea, headache, and lethargy.

It’s important to remember everyone may react differently and if you think you may have been bitten by a possible false black widow or medical attention may be needed.

Alpha Home Pest Control

Spider Control

Pest-Control-Spiders-House-SpiderSo the question is, how to get rid of spiders? Having certain spiders on your property can actually be beneficial, as they are known for controlling the population of insects such as mosquitoes. However, this is something that can be difficult to remember whenever you end up face to face with a spider that is inside your house.

This is especially true when it is the type of spider that is known to be venomous, making it important that you know about spider control in and around your home that can pose a problem and risk to children and small animals.  Being a specialized spider control Boise company we are dedicated to keeping you informed.

Stay Informed

In order to safeguard your home and your family from dangerous spiders, you will want to educate yourself on different varieties. For example, the Hobo spider, which actually originates from Europe, has become quite a nuisance within the state of Idaho and other states across the United States. While this spider is rather harmless, it has been known to bite and is often confused with the brown recluse as they are very similar with shape and color.

Whether you are somewhere where there are brown recluse spiders, black widow spiders or even wandering spiders, it is going to be crucial that you take the necessary precautions to rid of the problem as soon as possible. Make sure that you always work to clean out any clutter as spiders like to be in areas that are dark and quiet, which is why they seem to be attracted to basement corners. If you happen to have a lot of clutter in your house, you will end up creating a lot of hiding places for spiders.

Keep Areas Clean

Always try to make sure that you are vacuuming your home at least once per week. Cleaning the carpeting thoroughly can help to suck away any spider eggs. At the same time, you will want to use a quality cleaner around your baseboards, window sills and other crevices of your home every couple of weeks to make it uncomfortable for spiders to want to be around.

Additional Tips

If you have started to notice that you are seeing spiders in certain areas, you may want to think about setting up glue traps. Certain spiders are going to be attracted to particular traps, so it is a good idea to look at the types of traps that work best for any dangerous spiders that happen to live in your area. Whenever the spider walks across the traps, they will get stuck and you can simply dispose of the trap later on.

Another tip for trying to remove spiders that may have already taken up residence in or around your home is constructing a spider stick. Take a mop handle and tie a rag or towel in the shape of a ball on one end. After securing it tightly, you can spray the ball/rag with insecticide made for spiders to help you ensure that you are killing any live spiders that you come into contact with. Always approach the spiders with caution, making sure that you keep a safe distance in case they fall from the web as you are dabbing the area with the spider stick.

 

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