Category: Flying Pests

5 Low-Maintenance Plants To Keep The Mosquitoes Away

Mosquito

Mosquitoes can be a real issue, especially during the hotter, more humid times of the year. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy the weather or go about your day than being hassled by blood sucking mosquitoes.

There are a number of things that you can do to try and keep mosquitoes from eating you alive, such as using mosquito repellent, turning on your fans and lighting citronella candles. However, these are all short-term solutions. For a long-term solution, you should consider introducing a few naturally mosquito repelling plants.

The following are five plants that are not only mosquito repelling; they are also easy to grow and to maintain:

1. Citronella

Citronella

Many people will use citronella-scented candles to get rid of mosquitoes, so it’s only natural that the citronella plant will do the same – except it won’t burn out after a period of time like a candle will. The citronella plant provides a distinctive aroma that covers up nearby smells that tend to attract mosquitoes, which will make it more difficult for mosquitoes to find you. Citronella can be grown wherever frost does not occur. It’s a perennial grass that grows to between roughly five or six feet. If you do live in an area with frost, you can grow the Citronella in a pot or planter and simply move it indoors during the colder periods of the year.

2. Marigolds

Marigolds

The great thing about marigolds is that they will not only provide your home with a natural mosquito repellent, they will also make the area you plant them in look absolutely beautiful. These annual plants contain Pyrethrum, which releases an odor that mosquitoes hate. Pyrethrum also happens to be used often in many different types of insect repellents. Keep in mind that marigolds need plenty of sunlight and fertile soil in order properly thrive. You can also grow marigolds in pots or planters and place them around the home for additional protection from mosquitoes.

3. Catnip

Catnip

Catnip is a perennial herb that is related to mint, and is also quite easy to grow. According to recent studies, it was found that catnip is actually as much as ten times more effective than the chemical known as DEET, which is used in a large amount of commercial insect repellent. However, catnip only has an effect on mosquitoes within a close proximity. Many people will apply crushed leaves for better protection from mosquitoes. You should also keep in mind that catnip plants do affect cats, which means that if you own a cat you may want to consider using a different plant.

4. Ageratum

Ageratum

Like many of the previously mentioned plants, ageratum contains an element that mosquitoes find incredibly offensive and that is commonly used in insect repellents. This component is known as coumarin. Like marigolds, ageratums boast some especially gorgeous flowers. Its blooms are typically blue, but they come in several varieties that include white, pink and violet as well. Ageratum plants don’t need very much sunlight and can thrive with in full or partial sunlight. You won’t need very rich soil either, which is why they are often used in rock gardens, especially because they are a low-lying plant.

5. Horsemint

Horsemint

Horsemint has the same effect that citronella plants do; they produce a strong scent that tends to mask nearby scents that attract mosquitoes. Horsemint has several positives going for it, including that it grows fast, can grow in the shade, can resist droughts and does well in dryer conditions.

Use some of these plants near your deck, backyard, pool area, or other outdoor areas of your home in order to naturally repel mosquitoes.

Nicole loves her beautiful little home that she shares with her husband. She enjoys learning about anything to do with home improvement, from ways to keep the bugs away to the best decking suppliers in Perth, Australia.

Little Brown Bats In Danger Of Extinction

Little Brown Bat

The little brown bat is one of the most common species of bats in North America, and has been the preferred model organism for bat studies, and research. As well, these insectivores have been widely acclaimed by pest management experts, for their natural insect pest control services.

Little Brown Bats In Danger Of Extinction

Unfortunately, recent studies released have offered evidence that the little brown bat population in the North Eastern United States, is experiencing a steady and hasty decline from exposure to White nose syndrome- a disease caused by exposure to a particular fungus; first discovered in 2006. This infliction could result in the complete extinction of these natural exterminators, and the subsequent increase of insect pest control problems in the North Eastern United States; and throughout the rest of North America.

Concerned American biologists are asking the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to place the little brown bat, once one of the most common mammals in North America and (to date) the most-affected species, on the endangered species list; until a formal review can be completed.

White-Nose Syndrome

The White-Nose Syndrome fungus was first discovered back in 2006, in the caves of New York. It has since spread to some 28 U.S. States. It’s believed that the fungus was brought over from Europe, where WNS didn’t seem to have the same affect as it has on the 26 different species of hibernating North American bats.

White-Nose Syndrome affects Little Brown bats by altering their hibernation. Essentially, a white fungus will grow on a Little Brown bat’s nose and awaken the bat when it should be hibernating. The bat will use all of it’s energy reserves needed for hibernation, and eventually die off before spring rolls around and the bat can once again hunt bugs. The fungus also affects the little brown bat’s blood pressure, body temperature, and ability to fly and catch insects. It’s estimated that WNS has killed between 7-10 million hibernating bats.

The Little Brown Bat

As this bat’s name would suggest, it’s fur is uniformly dark brown and glossy on the back. The upper body is slightly paler, with greyish fur underneath. This species of bat has thirty-eight, relatively sharp teeth. As is typical for most insectivores, the little brown bat’s canine teeth are very prominent, enabling it to grasp hard-bodied insects; while still in flight. Considered very effective exterminators, a healthy population of Little Brown bats, can consume thousands of pounds of insect pests; each year.

 

5 Ways To Rid Your Home Of Fleas

Fleas can be a major headache that no one wants to deal with. Unfortunately for pet owners, fleas are also a common problem, and can infest your home fairly quickly. The good news is there are several effective DIY ways to rid your home of fleas, without having to resort to bug-bombing your house.

Flea

Use Botanical Dust and Borate Acid

Botanical dust is among the world’s oldest pesticides; borates are minerals commonly used in detergents, insecticides, and wood preservatives. Mixing botanical dust and borate is safe, although it is wise to wear a mask to avoid breathing any of this mixture in. You’ll want to dust the carpet, furniture, beds, and areas where your pet sleeps and allow to sit for approximately 24 hours (you should leave your home while you allow it to do its magic.) When you return, vacuum all the areas where you sprinkled the dust, as well as wash all sheets and furniture covers.

The botanical dust/borate acid mixture helps prevent a full-on infestation by targeting flea larvae. Botanical dust essentially cuts into the fleas body and dries out all the fluids, causing death by dehydration.

Set Out Small Dishes of Water and Dish Detergent

Water and dish detergent creates a toxic swimming pool for fleas, causing them to die as soon as they jump into the mixture. Placing this mixture into shallow dishes set in low areas throughout your house will encourage fleas to accidentally jump in and die. Placing the dishes near a nightlight will also encourage the fleas to flock to this toxic swimming pool, as they are attracted to the light and will fall into the soapy water when they leap for the warm glow emitted by the nightlight.

Scatter Cedar Chips in Flea-Ridden Areas

Fleas despise the scent of cedar and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Place handfuls of cedar chips in corners of the rooms throughout your house, as well as in your dog pen or sleeping area. (However, it’s important to know whether your dog has a cedar allergy or not, as many dogs are allergic to cedar.) Scattering the chips along windowsills and door thresholds will prevent more fleas from coming in. You can also wrap a handful of cedar chips in a cotton cloth and place under your pillow or bedding in order to keep your bed free of fleas. Cedar chips can be purchased in your local pet or home improvement stores.

Sprinkle Salt Over Your Carpet

Salt works similarly to botanical dust, in that it dries up moisture. When a flea comes into contact with a salt crystal, the salt cuts the flea so that it basically bleeds to death. Very fine-grade salt works best when using this method (in fact, the finer, the better.) Make sure to vacuum up the salt (and flea carcasses) after about a week. Repeat the process a couple more times to break the flea cycle in your home.

Vacuum Regularly

This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised what a difference good vacuuming habits will make. Fleas rarely survive being vacuumed up, but in the off-chance that they do, it’s wise to discard the vacuum bag after vacuuming. Replacing the bag with a new one will help prevent re-infestation.

Fleas may be an unpleasant fact of life, but they can be effectively dealt with and conquered. When all else fails, call a pest control professional.

About the author:

Chris is a blogger for Excel Pest Control a NJ based pest control company.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes In San Antonio

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Summers in San Antonio, TX are filled with swimming, sunshine, and fun, but sadly, mosquitoes always like to crash the party. The season of sun creates perfect conditions for skeeter snack time. We all know of just how much harm mosquitoes can have on us, but the Asian Tiger Mosquito definitely steps that up a level.

About The Skeeters

Asian Tiger Mosquito

This mosquito is small, and dark colored with clearly visible stripes, which is where it gets its name, the Asian Tiger mosquito. Its name can also be attributed to its more aggressive nature. Unlike most species of mosquito, this pest attacks throughout the entire day, not just at dawn and dusk. Dina Fonseca, associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University states, “Part of the reason it is called ‘tiger’ is also because it is very aggressive. You can try and swat it all you want, but once it’s on you, it doesn’t let go.”

This mosquito is also known to transmit many harmful diseases; more than 20. The most common here in the States are West Nile Virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, and two types of encephalitis. With summer in full motion, the presence of these mosquitoes is growing; especially close to people and their homes.

How They Got Here

These mosquitoes are not native to America, but where accidentally introduced from Japan through old tire shipments. Old tires can harbor perfect moist and wet environments for these pests to grow and reproduce.

Originally these mosquitoes are from the Southeast Asian tropics and wetlands, but have been able to spread throughout the world in the last few decades due to international trade and shipping. Now they can be found in 29 American states ranging from Texas to New Jersey, South America, Central America, southern Europe, and several pacific islands.

Prevention & Protection

Mosquito Swatter

Mosquitoes require standing water to breed. Getting rid of any puddles, or built up water near your property would diminish the amount of mosquitoes nearby.  Wearing clothing that covers exposed skin would make it difficult for mosquitoes to bite. While the common bug spray may not work too well against these mosquitoes, trying Deet, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus would be the best options against the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

San Antonio Pest Control

If you are in need of additional protection from mosquitoes this summer, get professional pest control in San Antonio.

Mosquito Control

Mosquito Nix
12500 Network Boulevard
San Antonio, TX78249
(210) 699-7700
mosquitonix.com

General Pest Control

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706
bulwarkpestcontrol.com
 
Critter Control
1075 Grassland Drive
Bulverde, TX 78163
(830) 438-6108
crittercontrol.com

 

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