Outdoors | | | | |
The Basics of Brick and Masonry
Shopping for Bushes and Hedges
Mulch - For a Completely New Look
The Basics of Trimming Your Plants
Time for New Siding?
Installing a Motion Detector
Mosquito Wars - Tips To Hold Them At Bay
Guide to Buying Your Next Lawnmower
Increasing Garage Storage Space
The Beauty of a Garden Pond
Beautify Your Lawn with a Garden Bench
Water Gardens: A Touch of Paradise at Home
Installing a Sprinkler System
The Value of Awnings
Putting in New Gutters
How to Make Your Own Screen Door
Maintaining Your Roof and Shingles
Keys to Effective Pest Control
What Kind of Sprinkler Do You Need ?
Tips for Applying Concrete Finish
A Distinguished New Look with a New Gate
Guide to Pressure Washers
Roof Repairs
Selecting Your Perfect Fence
Window Trims
Fencing Your Home
Garden Benches
Home Generator: A Buyer's Guide
Home Security Cameras
Your New Hammock

Keys to Effective Pest Control

Do you have visitors who are always making pests of themselves? No, we're not talking about the annoying neighbor or the obnoxious in-laws. We're talking about real pests. The animal and insect variety.  You know: rats, mosquitoes, squirrels.  Pests can be worse than just a nuisance. Depending on which particular creature we're talking about, they can destroy plant-life, carry diseases, even destroy your house's structure.

So how do you take care of the pest problem at your home? The best strategy is to keep them from coming into your yard and house in the first place. This is best accomplished by keeping a healthy lawn and by planting certain plant types that are "pest-resistant."

Pest-resistant plants? Yes, they do exist. A plant that is susceptible to pest attacks is one that has nitrogen at high levels. These plants typically have succulent growth. They look vibrant but they are not very resistant to pest attacks or disease. To help them become more pest-resistant, you have to keep them watered regularly, and you need to space them a good distance apart. This allows  them to get the aeration needed to help them be more resilient and better able to stand against pests.

Another part of preventative action is to install a fence around your property. This will help to keep out creatures such as rabbits and deer--animal that look lovely, but which can wreak havoc on your lawn. To keep out unwanted insects, you can use row covers, or to keep birds away from your fruit trees, there is special netting available. Also, it's important that you have no still-standing water in your yard that is not changed regularly (such as in a bird bath). These will attract disease-carrying mosquitoes, which will lay their eggs in the water.

Squirrels are adorable to watch, but if you allow them to multiply in your yard, they can get into the house where they will chew away at wiring and insulation. To prevent this, keep all tree limbs cut far away from the house. There are also traps that can catch them without harming them.

One other creature causes a lot of damage to many people's landscape. We're talking about voles. A vole is a small animal that resembles a mouse) (Chances are, if you ever have seen one in your yard, you probably mistook it for a mouse.) There are several ways to get rid of voles if you have them. You could call in a professional exterminator. Or if you want to do it yourself, you can buy poison baits (known as rodenticides) or traps. Baits, such as d-Con or Rodex, are effective. They kill the rodents by causing internal bleeding within the vole causing it to hemorrhage to death. The negative side is that they can be hazardous to other wildlife, and if a child finds it and eats it, could be extremely dangerous. A safer alternative might be mouse traps. Just find the vole's runway and place the trap perpendicular to it. To increase the odds of catching the vole, you have to find what the creature's usual path is and station the trap there. Place a little peanut butter on the trap. To minimize the possibility of children setting off the trap, place it under a box. It will be difficult for kids to set it off there, and in fact, difficult for most larger animals to do so. However, voles, which, like mice, are quite flexible and small, will get under the box and hopefully caught in the trap.

A few steps like this will help keep your home and yard pest-free, and much more enjoyable.

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