Pesky Pests

There are various tools and methods that can be used to keep those pests that like to invade our homes and lawns at bay. Here are some helpful tips and proven methods you can try to help protect your little slice of paradise this season.


Bats and spiders are some of the most undesirable pests. They both feed on insects, which can also be a problem. By getting rid of bugs and insects you can protect yourself from their predators as well. Try changing out your exterior lights from mercury vapor bulbs to sodium vapor bulbs. They can be a bit more expensive, but well worth the price when you consider the benefits of installing them. These bulbs will make your home much less attractive to bugs and insects.


No need to beat around the bush, cockroaches are SCARY! Roach allergies are a legitimate concern, especially to those of you who have inner city homes, as these areas are much more likely to have roach infestations. Individuals who have these infestations are more susceptible to developing a roach allergy. These allergies are caused by coming into contact with roach excrement and/or their caste skins they shed. You will want to evaluate the severity of your infestation.  A simple way to do that is to wait until about two hours after you turn your lights out at night and inspect the areas of your home that are likely to be problem areas. This is the time of day when roaches are most active, so you’ll have a more accurate idea of the severity of your infestation. The most important thing to remember is to keep your home clean and as dirt free as possible. Roaches thrive in a dirty surrounding. One home remedy that’s proven to be effective is the use of bay leaves – yup, the same ones you throw into your soup or stew! You can crush the dried bay leaves up and line your kitchen cabinets with them. Because roaches like cool dark spaces, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to string some fresh bay leaves together and hang them in your closets. The fresher the leaves are the more effective. They emit a powerful fragrance as well as essential oils that roaches absolutely loathe. Once the roach is made aware of the presence of bay leaves it will surely scurry off.

I decided to save the best for last. Perhaps the most common pest problem people encounter in  their yards is the dreaded fire ant infestation. To rid yourself of these monsters it’s best to double up your efforts by trying two different methods to ensure success. First you’ll want to make sure the ants are foraging because if they aren’t, step one will not be successful. Without disturbing the mounds drop a few crushed potato chips in the areas around the mound. Revisit the mounds a few hours later and if the ants are foraging you’ll notice the absence of some of the chip pieces. Now you’ll want to go to the store and pick up some granular fire ant bait. Be careful to follow the directions on the label as it’s important not to over do it. Again, make sure not to disturb the ant mound and to only apply the bait in the areas around it. Leave the treated area alone for at least a couple of days to let the ants do their thing. They need some time to get the bait back into their nest. After a few days you’re ready for phase two. You want to find a good liquid insecticide. You’ll then apply this generously, so make sure you have enough on hand to do so. You want to be sure to treat the entire mound, as your efforts will be futile if you don’t manage to kill the queens who live deep inside the mounds.


Of course, as home-owners we love to fix the problems we encounter ourselves as it’s often much more cost effective to do so. However, it’s important to know when to wave the white flag and surrender. When using store bought products it is SO important to follow the directions outlined on the label. In some cases you can actually make your problem worse, and wind up paying a professional twice as much because they have to fix the damage that was done by your efforts as well as the normal treatment. Remember that repelling these pests is not the same thing as getting rid of them.   It’s important to know when to call in the pros.  If you just aren’t sure-it is time to call!

Associations and Memberships

Building Industry Association of Lancaster County Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce Techo-pro Contractor Certified ICPI Installer