People from around the world flock to Orlando for many reasons, one of them being the year-round sunny weather. Here in Orlando, homeowners know that it’s the nicest time of year to be out and about, enjoying our yards, parks and outdoor spaces. That’s one reason that spring is a good excuse to take a closer look at your biggest investment—your home—to ensure you are doing what you can to take advantage of your biggest investment.
Orlando Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017
Orlando homeowners has 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 useful resources for both your 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
One of the more pesky pests we see during the spring months are fleas. Here are some ways to protect your pets and your family from these biting insects.
Treat Your Yard
In the early spring, treat your yard with beneficial nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae) that will kill flea larvae as well as 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 keeping your lawn mowed throughout the year.
Treat Your Home
To prevent having fleas inside of 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, nontoxic 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 parts of vinegar and water to a spray bottle, and apply to your pet’s fur as well as to their bedding. Avoid getting the spray in your pet’s eyes, noses and ears. For dogs, you can add a few drops of lavender or cedar essential oils to the spray, 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 on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing. Use a flea comb on cats. Just like you did for carpets, you can dust your pets with diatomaceous earth. Work the powder into the fur, but try not to get too much dust in the air as it can be irritating to 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 out 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 in use 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 tube may also indicate that the termites are now using another pathway to find their way into your home.
Are There Different Type 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. Working tubes are most commonly used by termites and can be found around door sills, sub floors, on window frames and around 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 piles of firewood away from your foundation.
When It Comes to Pests, Trust ABC
Trust the professionals ABC Home & Commercial to conduct thorough assessments of your home to come up with a treatment plan to get rid of 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 long. With ABC’s help, your pest problems will be a thing of the past.