With the spring months finally here, it’s time to open the windows for some much-needed fresh air, run around the yard with the kids, and dine on the deck al fresco. We chatted with Jim McHale, president of JP McHale Pest Management on how you can let nature back into your life without bringing on the bugs.
What pests should people be on the lookout for during this time of year?
Our biggest pest problems this time of year are eastern subterranean termites, carpenter ants, deer ticks, wasps, and mosquitos.
What’s the most efficient way to control deer ticks in your yard?
May, June, July and September are high-risk times and are key months for regular lawn maintenance and careful treatment of planting beds. It’s especially important to focus precisely timed treatments on zones where the managed lawn ends and wooded areas begin.
We’re also on the verge of launching a new product that uses special food pellets strategically placed in rodent pathways. Mice feed on the pellets and become vaccinated and unable to transmit the spirochete associated with Lyme disease. Not one mouse will be harmed during this process.
What’s the first thing someone should do if they spot carpenter ants in their home?
I usually ask the client how many they are observing per day. Is it only when it’s hot and sunny? Do the ants still appear during rainy weather? If they see five or more everyday, that’s a good indication that a nest exists within their home, which is usually a sign of a moisture problem. A professional should be called in to locate and destroy the ant colony. If you only spot carpenter ants during periods of drought or high temperature, it’s likely that a colony exists outside and foragers are traveling in for a bit of moisture.
Since there are so many species of ants, proper identification is key. People can download our app on their smartphone, take a picture of a captured ant specimen, and send it to us for free, no obligation identification.
As the weather warms, what are your biggest tips to prevent critters from making their way into homes?
Homeowners can protect themselves by eliminating standing water outside, making sure rainwater is diverted from the foundation, trees limbs are cut back away from roofline, doors are flush with no gaps, and pipe entryways are sealed. Inside, make sure that all open windows have screens, and be sure to store pantry products in sealed containers. For a night out on the deck, use low-voltage lighting and an oscillating fan to ward off weak flying pests.
Our Home Pest Prevention Program is also an excellent way to enhance your comfort and bring you peace of mind. We examine and treat your home during strategic weeks, three times a year, to intercept invasive pests. We also treat vulnerable areas to prevent nests and places where pests can hide in the winter months.