Category Archives: Pest Control

Bird Pest Control: Bird Deterrents

Birds have voracious appetites. The old saying that a person who eats very little “eats like a bird”, is wrong. Birds can consume many times their own weight in insects daily, and when insect prevention is is the goal, birds do it very well. There are however limits to everything, and too many birds in the wrong places at the wrong times can become a serious concern for property owners. You would not want to get rid of all the birds on your property, but you might need to limit where they roost and otherwise congregate. Balance is the key to good management.

Disease can become a problem when any population in a given area becomes to large. This is true of all animal life, and birds are no exception. In fact, avian flu has become a high profile public health concern. Bird waste and other damage can also result from overpopulation. So, how do we deal with this problem?

Bird pest control

Bird deterrents are the best means of dealing with birds. There are a number of ways that this can be accomplished. Building a wall will not work. There is no wall high enough to keep birds out, and enclosing the entirety of a property with walls and a roof is not practical or desirable. Nets can prevent birds from entering an area, but there are severe aesthetic problems with this method. Fortunately there are less severe methods that will work without adding more enclosures.

The general rule is to make the areas where birds are not welcome less welcoming to them. In other words, make the area uncomfortable for roosting and congregating birds.

Bird deterrents and bird pest control devices

  • Thin wire can be stretched at levels to make roosting in rafters uncomfortable.
  • Bird spikes manufactured for the purpose of discouraging roosting physically.
  • Sonic and ultrasonic devices used to provide sounds that are disconcerting to birds.
  • Taste aversion products to literally leave a bad taste in their mouths.
  • Roosting inhibitor products to make roosting difficult.
  • Visual bird frightening products to scare birds away.

For information on bird control products see:

Bird-X Bird Control Products

Green Money Saving Lawn and Landscape Tips

A well planned landscape can save you lots of money. A lousy one can cost you lots of money.

Whether you hire a landscaper to install your lawn and landscape, or do it yourself, there are some things you should give close attention to aside from the standard design principles commonly followed today. These tips will help to “green” your lawn and landscape, and keep some green in your wallet.

Soil type and irrigation

What could be more green than saving one of our most important natural resources; water? If you have a heavy clay soil, and you want to grow almost any of our common lawn grasses, you should be certain that the soil is amended properly, or top soil added.

If this is not done, you will be at constant odds with mother nature and your pocketbook when the heat of summer arrives. The best practice for lawn grass irrigation is to water deeply, and infrequently, but if you have hard clay soils, and nothing else to absorb and hold the water for the plants, you will have to water more often, using less water each time to achieve similar results. If you attempt to water deeply on clay soils, the result will be excess runoff. When watering more frequently to avoid runoff, you will still need to have the same amount of water, but it will have to be broken up into several smaller increments. Either way, the water used is less efficient. You will lose water to runoff, or evaporation, neither of which is desirable, and in some places, it is even considered criminal!

To avoid this problem, you need to start before the landscape and lawn are installed, or renovated.

Make sure that there is sufficient top soil to become an adequate root zone for your lawn grasses and landscape beds. Plan your irrigation layout carefully to avoid having tree watering or bed watering on the same station with lawn watering. Each of these will require differing amounts of water, and you could end up drowning one type of plant while allowing the others to die of thirst! Be certain that your landscape beds are not built in a basin, and that they have good surface drainage, otherwise the plants being used could suffocate from excessive watering. Be sure to clump your plantings according to water needs and water use. Landscaping is more than just making a drawing, and choosing plants, it involves the proper placement of the plants to achieve the best combination of growing conditions.

Plant and bed placement tips

This tip will help you to save money, and “green” up your homes pest control program: When designing landscape beds, leave yourself a foot or more of space between the plants and the home. Do the same with bark mulch. That extra foot of space between your walls and plants can mean the difference between a full blown insect insurgency, and a healthy symbiotic relation between the great outdoors and the insect and mold free comfort of your indoor living space.

Pests use plants and bark mulch as a covered highway onto and into your home. The further you can keep these 2 elements from your exterior walls the better. You would probably be surprised at the difference just a few inches of space can make when it comes to insects. Instead of using the mulch between the plants and the foundation, try digging a trench, and adding coarse sand with pebbles on top. Tunneling insects like termites will find the sand and pebbles impossible to make a tunnel without having it cave in behind them. Other types of insects will see the space as being a cover-less dead end, and  and you will save yourself a lot of money on pest treatments in the long run.

Where Do Bugs and Rodents Come From

Where Do Bugs and Rodents Come From

Part one in our pest prevention series.

The bugs and rodents you find inside your home come from somewhere. Have you ever given any thought as to where that “somewhere” might be? Well, you should! Bugs and rodents don’t just spontaneously appear in your home. They are not magical, they are not mysterious, they are not from another planet. Understanding where bugs mice and rats come from, and what they want is the key to dealing with them.

Where bugs and rodents come from

Bugs and rodents exist in the wide open spaces of the great outdoors, and they do pretty well out there, but they are like human beings in this way, they are always looking to upgrade. They like the great outdoors, but they also like living with you! That is, they like living with you, as long as you provide them with what they want, and need to survive.

Bug and rodent philosophy

Philosophically speaking, a variety of positions exist as to why bugs are here to begin with. Those who hold to an evolutionary viewpoint say that insects and rodents are just a part of the natural chain of evolution. Those of a biblical persuasion believe that insects and rodents are the result of the fallen nature of our world, and those of eastern religions have a variety of takes on them, often seeing them as being just as important as human life.

No matter how you slice it, insects and rodents can be a problem, and to deal with them, you don’t have to violate the tenants of any philosophical position of which I am aware. Simply prevent them!

If insects and rodents come from outdoors, and you as a homeowner choose to keep them there, it is important to determine what you have that makes your home a good target for them.

What bugs and rodents want

What they seek is shelter and food. Of course they do need a way to get inside. What we want to do is determine what it is on your property that allows a large enough population of insects to accumulate, offers them cover and close enough proximity to stage an invasion of your house, and a pathway into your home, and what you have inside that is the reason why they are seeking to get inside. Once we do this, and eliminate the things that allow the population to grow, have cover, have a reason to want to get inside, and a way to do it, then we will drastically decrease the numbers of pest actually inside your home, without having to resort to the over use of pesticides, or violate the tenants of your bug and rodent philosophy.

We will be discussing the details of preventing bugs and rodents, like clearing and cleaning your property, good lawn care tactics for pest control, and how the landscape you have effects your pest control effort in the next few posts. If you have questions or comments, p;ease feel free to use our convenient comment box. We would love to hear from you!

See part two in our pest prevention series: Pest Control Brush Weeds Rubble Clean Up