East Sacramento is now implementing a new state law that requires residents to separate organic materials in an effort to keep them from ending up in our landfills. Composting food scraps, food soiled paper, and yard trimmings can have great benefits, extending the capacity of our landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and turning organic materials into nutrient dense soil. Compost bins, however, can invite unwanted pests in the form of flies or maggots. They can be a real nuisance when opening the lid and being dive-bombed by these creatures.
Did you know that flies play a significant role in turning food waste into compost?
Flies and maggots help to break down the organic material into compost. This includes fruit flies. Much like earthworms, flies and their larvae feed on the organic materials, help aerate it, and turn it into a nutrient rich fertilizer. The downside is that they are prolific breeders and infestations can seem to happen overnight. Here are some helpful tips in managing your waste bins when flies have taken over.
Keep the lid on your waste bins: do not leave the bin open for any extended period of time. Make sure it is securely shut after each addition. This cuts off access to flies trying to make their way in.
Try to layer the organic material: adding some brown or green waste on top of the composite waste can stop flies from getting to the compost and prevent too many larvae from forming.
Keep bins away from doors: do not keep your bins too close to entry ways. Every time you open your door you risk flies coming into your home.
Do not skip weekly collections: make sure your bin is emptied weekly. Especially in the hotter months of the year, compost bins can get smelly and pest-ridden quickly. Ensuring your bin is emptied weekly can greatly reduce the chance of infestations.
Wash your bin periodically: because of the nature of composting, bins can get a build up of organic material left at the bottom or on the sides of your bin. If your bin gets too much build-up, you can simply clean it out using a garden house. Avoid using any household cleaners as they man contain harmful ingredients that can contaminate the compost.
Conclusion: Composting is essential for the environment. It enriches soil and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. In addition, a nutrient rich soil can encourage the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi and even suppress plant diseases and pests. Whether you are composting for the benefit of your own garden or collecting it for city pick up, we all want to do our part. Let us also do our part by making sure our bins are responsibly managed.
Mosquitoes can ruin a lot of fun, making summer picnics, backyard barbecues, evening strolls, and other outdoor activities a biting frenzy. These pesky little creatures will silently torment you from dawn to dusk, making you reconsider going outdoors. Mosquitoes have been around for millions of years; so unfortunately, folks, they are here to stay.
There are roughly 3,600 species of mosquitoes and over 50 of them can be found right here in sunny California. These insects are part of the gnat family and are known to be the deadliest in the world. They can carry and transmit several bloodborne diseases including malaria, West Nile, yellow fever, and Zika (just to name a few) which kill nearly a million people globally each year. They are also responsible for transmitting heartworms to our canine and feline friends.
Did you know that only female mosquito’s bite? Blood provides a protein that is required to produce eggs. Once they are ready to lay their eggs, they will seek a water source, whether big or small, to lay 100-200 eggs each time. The eggs are resilient and can survive even in cold water throughout the winter season, hatching as warm weather approaches.
We may think these gnats seem quite pointless and annoying, but they do play a significant part in our ecosystem. They are a link in our food chain, providing food to fish, birds, bats, and amphibians. Some species are even important pollinators! “Say what?” I know, we still don’t like them either.
Although public mosquito vectors can monitor and treat areas such as waterways and canals, it is up to residents to proactively eliminate breeding sources around the home. Here are some suggestions on how to decrease the breeding sites around your yard and some control methods you can try to keep them away.
Look for stagnant water: this is especially important to do after a rain shower. Dump any standing water that may accumulate in pots and planters, old tires, tarps, toys, open containers, bird baths, fountains, small pools, ponds, and anything else that can potentially hold water.
Inspect gutters: clogged gutters can increase the chance of stagnant water. Remove any built-up debris and inspect down spout extensions.
Purchase mosquito repellent: such as candles that contain citronella, outdoor bug sprays, or foggers. You can find these items at most retailers; however, in most situations they only provide temporary relief, and some ingredients can be toxic if used incorrectly.
Helpful Tip: most species prefer to stay close to their breeding sites but can travel 1-3 miles to feed. Although you cannot control the condition of your neighbor’s yard, you can use these tips to help reduce these pests around your property. Some pesticide treatments can also help to relieve infestations as well, targeting shady foliage areas where they are likely to rest. Still, the best thing you can do as a resident is to monitor your property for those areas of water that welcome mosquitoes in for a place to call home.
The chilly season is well known to be the time for rat incursions as they head towards your home for food and shelter, but what people may not be aware of is that rats can be a year-round issue. In fact, spring is just around the corner and Sacramento homes are still a target for rats to make their unwelcoming mouse warming party.
Nationwide, Sacramento has been listed in the top 29 cities for rat infestations and in California it was ranked in the top 5. The most common being the roof rat. These little critters may look small and cute; however, looks can be deceiving. They can actually wreak a great amount of havoc around your home.
Roof rats are often brown or black in color with large ears, a pointed nose, and slender in size. Ranging from 13-18 inches from nose to tail, these clever creatures are highly adaptive to a wide range of environments. They have superior climbing skills and will travel through trees and across electrical wires to find their way into attics and other parts of the home. Roof rats can squeeze in a hole the size of a quarter and will even chew around an opening to make it suitable to wiggle through. Once inside, food becomes their next objective, and they aren't picky eaters! They will find anything edible to make a mice krispies treat.
How do you know your home has been intruded by roof rats? There are many signs that will give away their presence. Besides spotting one around the home, sighting of rodent droppings and rub marks is a great indicator. You may also find gnawed areas of the home or food packaging. In some instances, people may hear them scurrying about in the attic space or wall voids.
Prevention is the best approach in making sure your home is rat free. The best measure you can take is ensuring that you have sealed up any openings around your home. Keep garbage bins and storage containers tightly sealed and eliminate any possibilities of other food sources such as fallen fruit, bird feeders, and your pet’s food bowls. It is also helpful to cut trees and shrubs away from the structure and move any wood or junk piles away from the home.
There are many threats that come with a rat infestation and contamination is a big one. This could be food or surface contamination. Rats carry disease, pathogens, and parasites through fecal matter and urine. The droppings and hair can also cause allergies and asthma. To make it worse, they can also carry other pests that can transfer to your household such as fleas, ticks, and mites. But that's not all! Aside from the health hazards, rats have razor sharp teeth that allow them to chew through almost anything including some metals. They gnaw on wires and pipes causing a lot of money in home repairs.
It's amazing how fast rats can reproduce. At just 2-5 months of age, they can find a squeak heart and produce as many as 6 litters per year! So be sure to follow these preventative measures or call a professional to properly inspect your home.
It really is the most beautiful time of the year. The smell of pine, the lights and fog are all worth waiting for each year. May your home be filled with the joy this season brings. Happy Holiday's!
From Your East Sacramento Pest Co.,
Peacemaker Pest Control
Peacemaker Pest Control would like to give all of our neighbors a big "Thank You" for your support in our growth here in East Sacramento and to all the other small family owned businesses. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
As the weather begins to cool in the Fall, spiders will be seeking a warm and cozy place to hide, and these little creepers will be heading for your home. Do not fear, we are here to help! Aside from an established service, here are a few ways to keep the spiders away.
Reduce entry points: Spiders can get through the smallest cracks around your residence. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes around the foundation of your home. You can also minimize gaps by installing door sweeps, weather stripping, and making sure all window and door screens are in good condition. Not only does this help to keep spiders out, but this will also prevent other insects from traveling in.
Minimize exterior lighting: Most homes have lighting near the entryways that attract a lot of flying insects. Spiders will generally nest around these entryways to prey on an easy meal. You can reduce the number of unwanted insects by keeping the lights off or replacing them with yellow bulbs.
Keep things clean: Knock down all spider webs around your home with a broom or a weber (this is included in your pest control service). Look for cobwebs around light fixtures, in your garden and around the foundation of your home, including corners. Don’t forget to look up! You will be surprised at what you discover.
Halloween might be the time for all things “creepy and crawly”, but they aren’t invited to the party… unless it’s Spiderman!
One insect people dread most is the bloodsucking flea. These external parasites cause irritating bites and spread disease-carrying bacteria making them one of the most unpleasant insects to encounter. So how do fleas get around? They count on hitchhiking, or in other words, “itch-hiking”. Fleas thrive on consuming the blood of their hosts and can jump incredible distances making them one of the best jumpers second to the froghopper. They go through four lifecycle stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. As an adult, they can live 2-3 months on average. With over 2,500 species found around the world today, let’s talk about the three types of fleas that are likely to invade your home.
The Cat Flea: The most common type of flea that lives on cats, dogs, and wildlife.
The Rat Flea: The host is mainly rodents and these fleas are responsible for the Bubonic Plague.
The Human Flea: Infests the hair of humans and are found hiding in vehicles and furniture.
How do you get rid of fleas? Let’s start from scratch!
Protect your furry friends: First step in an effective flea treatment is to treat your pet(s) with flea and tick medication, use special formulated flea shampoo, and groom with a flea comb. Make sure the flea medication is appropriate for your type of pet and its weight.
Clean and treat your humble abode: This will go a long way in solving your flea problems. Vacuum high traffic areas often, wash bedding, and apply a chemical treatment around areas where fleas may hide. Read your chemical treatments carefully, especially if you have pets and children.
Maintain and treat your yard: A well-maintained and treated yard can keep you from undoing all your hard work to get rid of fleas. Be sure to remove debris around your home, maintain a short and healthy lawn, and chemically treat damp areas, patios, and grass.
Sanitation plays a vital role in the success of flea elimination. Vacuuming floors, laundering all bedding, maintaining a well-kept yard, and making sure your pets are medicated are all productive ways to manage a flea infestation. With a combination of Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) and knock-down insecticides you are well on your way to a flea-free home! For the safety application of professional-grade products, please contact a licensed professional.
- Call 916-531-1261