People worldwide flock to Orlando for many reasons, one being the year-round sunny weather. Here in Orlando, homeowners know that it’s the most excellent time of year to enjoy our yards, parks, and outdoor spaces. That’s one reason spring is a perfect excuse to take a closer look at your most significant investment—your home—to ensure you do what you can to take advantage of your most important investment.
Orlando Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017
Orlando homeowners have grown to depend on ABC Home & Commercial Services to keep their property free of pests. Our skilled and knowledgeable technicians treat your home as they would their own and do anything they can to be helpful. As an extension of this philosophy, ABC has created an Orlando Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017 to provide valuable resources for indoor and outdoor spaces.
The 9-page Guide includes:
- Ten things to do in Orlando this Spring
- Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
- Spring Cleaning List of Where to Donate or Dispose of Common Household Items Locally
- Advice on How to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard
- Spring Gardening Tips
- Ways to Protect Your Pets (and Yourself) from Fleas
- Signs You Might Have Termites
- Easy Home Improvement Projects
Click here to download the guide or view it on your mobile device. For a preview of the helpful information in the Guide, keep reading.
Ways To Protect Your Pets (and Yourself) From Fleas
Fleas are one of the more pesky pests we see during the spring months. Here are some ways to protect your pets and family from these biting insects.
Treat Your Yard
In the early spring, treat your yard with beneficial nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae) that kill flea larvae and adult fleas. Nematodes are safe for your gardens and can kill more than 90% of flea larvae in the soil within a single day. Make your yard less hospitable to fleas by trimming back weeds and mowing your lawn throughout the year.
Treat Your Home
To prevent fleas inside your home, vacuum regularly to capture fleas and eggs in carpeting and floorboards. Launder all pet bedding (and human bedding if pets sleep there). Sprinkle pet bedding and rugs with diatomaceous earth, a natural, non-toxic powder. Leave it for a few hours, and then vacuum it up. Use products containing cedar oil or shavings which are safe for cats and dogs and will repel and kill fleas around the house. Try flea traps that use incandescent light bulbs to attract fleas, which will get caught on sticky paper.
Treat Your Pets
Try apple cider vinegar as a non-toxic flea repellent. Add equal vinegar and water to a spray bottle, and apply to your pet’s fur and bedding. Avoid getting the spray in your pet’s eyes, nose, and ears. For dogs, you can add a few drops of lavender or cedar essential oils to the fountain but don’t add oils if using the spray on cats. Give your dog a bath with a nontoxic flea shampoo or Dawn dishwasher detergent (which works equally well and is safe for pets and the environment). Work up a lather and leave it on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing. Use a flea comb on cats. You can dust your pets with diatomaceous earth as you did for carpets. Work the powder into the fur, but try not to get too much dust in the air, as it can irritate the lungs for both you and your pets.
Signs You Might Have Termites
Subterranean termites can cause significant damage to your property. Homeowners rarely see signs of termites since these insects typically hide inside the walls of a structure. You may be able to check around your home’s foundation with a screwdriver, pressing against wooden areas to detect soft spots where termites may have eaten away at the wood. The main thing you can look for if you think you might have termites are termite tubes.
What are Termite Tubes?
Termites build tubes of waste materials, saliva, and soil to travel between a food source and a nest. These tubes protect these pests from moisture, light, and predators.
How Big Are They?
Termite tubes are about as big around as a pencil.
How Do I Know If a Termite Tube Is Active?
Since some tubes you find may no longer be used by termites, you can test for activity by breaking off a section in the middle and returning in a few days. If the damage to the center has been repaired, termites likely made repairs to the tube. An empty line may indicate that the termites use another pathway to enter your home.
Are There Different Types of Termite Tubes?
There are four main types of termite tubes. Working tubes link nests in the ground to wooden structures and may appear on the site of concrete or stone foundations. Migratory or exploratory tubes extend out of the soil up to 15 feet but are not touching wood surfaces. Termites commonly use working tubes and can be found around door sills, sub-floors, window frames, and porches, in addition to being located along home foundations. Swarm tubes are a temporary place for termites to stay before they leave to start new colonies. Drop tubes originate from wooden parts of a structure back to the ground and can often resemble stalagmites.
How Can I Prevent a Termite Infestation?
Take the following steps to protect your property against these pests:
- Avoid the accumulation of moisture and humidity by diverting water away from your foundation, reducing humidity in your crawl spaces, and ensuring crawl spaces have adequate vents.
- Keep shrubs, vines, and other plants from growing over and covering vents, and avoid plant growth on your home’s exterior to prevent a pathway.
- Keep exterior woodwork six inches off the ground.
- Remove wood debris from remodeling or construction projects promptly, and keep firewood piles away from your foundation.
When It Comes to Pests, Trust ABC
Trust the pest control exterminators ABC Home & Commercial to conduct thorough assessments of your home to develop a treatment plan to eliminate any pests on your property and to take steps to ensure they don’t return. Take advantage of our Spring Guide to keep your home looking great all season. With ABC’s help, your pest problems will be a thing of the past.