How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice
RATS AND MICE
As the temperatures begin to cool, the food supply for rodents begins to shrink and they seek out new places for food. It could just be a period of heavy rain that causes rodents to look for higher ground and a new food source. Many people have these furry uninvited critters visit their homes and offices and need to get them out.
The best prevention with any pest, including rodents, is sanitation. Be sure to keep anywhere you have food clean and food sealed. Keep your trash cans and surrounding area clean
Buy a Cat
The average domestic house cat kills an average of 10 mice per year. Cats are natural hunters and will stalk mice, among other things, and prevent you from having them in you home.
Professional Rodent Bait Stations
If you have a recurring problem with rodents, it is time to call the professionals. They can install bait stations along the perimeter of your home which will get rid of an outdoor problem before it becomes an indoor problem.
Aside from outright seeing them, there a few signs that will clearly tell of a rat or mouse problem.
You can track a rodent's movement by using dust. (cornstarch, baby powder, etc) Sprinkle some on the floor at the base of a wall where you suspect rodents to be moving and let it sit overnight. If they are there, you will see footprints in the morning.
Poison Bait Blocks
Using poison bait blocks is a common go to method for ridding your residence of rodents. It is fairly effective, but does have a few drawbacks. Naturally, the rodent will die and you have no control over where that is. That will lead to a horrendous smell radiating from somewhere in your home or office for about two weeks. There is also the issue of safety since it is poison. You must be extra cautious with your placement if of the bait blocks if you have children or pets. I would not recommend using poison pellets since they can be moved easily and can lead to accidental poisoning.
Everyone has seen a mouse trap. They are simple devices that lure in a rodent with bait and clamp down on them when they touch it. Be sure to get the correct size trap. If you are dealing with a large rat, a mouse trap will not work. Secondly, be sure to use the correct bait. Use whatever the rodent is eating in the house as bait, otherwise use peanut butter.
There are two types of glue boards. The first is a baited glue board. These work very similar to the traps listed above. You will probably bait them with peanut butter and when the rodent goes for the bait, they will get stuck on the glue board and unable to escape. The second type of glue board does not use bait. You simply place the board along an area where the rodent is likely to run through. The idea is they will go along their normal path and cross over the board and get stuck. This is technically the only non-lethal method of fixing your rodent problem. A lot of people think of this as a humane way of dealing with pest. The issue is once the rodent is caught you are not going to set them free so they will simply starve to death. You will also have to be careful when disposing of the rodent since they may still be alive and can bite or scratch at you.
Rodents are disgusting. They spread disease, have ticks and fleas and can live in sewers or waterways. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when dealing with anything related to them. Thoroughly clean any areas where you know have had rodent activity. Wash your hands thoroughly when finished cleaning.
If you live in the Greater Baton Rouge, Greater New Orleans or anywhere in Southeast Louisiana, please feel free to call us at 225.752.2333 and have us help you in person.
How to Get Rid of Clover
White clover is native to Europe and Asia and is now found throughout most of the United States. Clover does have some valuable uses. It is used to feed grazing animals in pastures. It gives a lush green look in winter with the added perk of flowers. It will also grow in areas with low nitrogen levels so there will not be bare ground showing. It has been used for erosion control. Unfortunately, it is not the type of plant most people want at their home. Here is how to kill the clover that is bothering you so much.
HOW TO KILL CLOVER IN YOUR LAWN
Clover is a perennial weed that will also spread seeds nearby. This means that if clover is left untreated, it will not only come back every year, but also have new clover growing beside it.
CULTURAL CONTROLS FOR CLOVER
A lot of clover is usually a sign of low nitrogen in your yard. This does not mean you should go overboard and add nitrogen now. Wait until late spring to early summer to do that. Clover needs sunlight to grow. If you maintain proper mowing heights for your lawn throughout the year, clover is less likely to spread in your yard.
CHEMICAL CONTROLS FOR CLOVER
There is clover in your yard, how do you get rid of it? Once clover is established, it can be treated using selective herbicides. Selective herbicides will only kill the weeds the product is design to kill while leaving the rest of the plants healthy.
The best time to treat clover would be either in spring or fall. Winter will work too, but starting in the fall would be best. Often it will take more than one application to get the clover amount to an acceptable level in your yard. If you broadcast the herbicide across your entire yard the first time, be sure to only spot spray the second. When dealing with selective herbicides, the amount of herbicide you use is very important. Too much and you have a dead yard, too little and the lawn was watered. Be sure to follow the label.
PRE-EMERGENT HERBICIDE FOR CLOVER
Unlike most other pre-emergents, it does have some post-emergent control. This means you put it out and it prevents you from having a bigger clover problem next time. If only putting it out once a year, try to make it early spring so it will remain active when the clover drops its seeds.
POST-EMERGENT HERBICIDE FOR CLOVER
Three-way herbicides containing 2,4-D, dicamba, mecoprop (MCPP)
Used on St. Augustine grass, Centipede grass, Zoysia grass and Bermudagrass. I personally find three way herbicides to work well on not only clover, but also many other broad leaf weeds. Some grasses have a lower recommended rate than others to reduce the chance of injury. Be sure to follow the instructions on the herbicide label.
This can be used on St. Augustine grass and Centipede grass. Be careful with this product as it can kill your lawn if used to often in a year.
Be sure to always follow the label's instructions for use when dealing with any pesticide. Be sure to wear the required protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses etc. In the event of an injury, refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet for instructions on what to do.
HOW TO GET RID OF CLOVER GROWING IN PAVEMENT AREAS
This is a lot easier. Use roundup or herbicides with the active ingredient Glyphosate. If you have a recurring problem with clover in these areas, there are some great pre-emergent herbicides designed to keep bare areas weed free.
A lot of home owners have a similar question at some point in their lives, "Why is my house turning green and how do i fix it?" Chances are the green on your home is green algae, moss or mildew. The good news is it is fairly simple to clean.
Here's what you will need:
Cleaning Algae from Small Areas
Mix the ratio of bleach, dish soap and water in a spray bottle. Wet the area down with a hose. Spray it with the cleaning solution. Let it sit for three to five minutes. Scrub it with a brush or simply wash it with a hose and repeat if necessary.
Cleaning Algae from Medium Areas
Wear your gloves and glasses. Add water to the bucket. Add in your dish soap and bleach and mix it with your brush. Test a small to make sure there is no discoloration with your particular brick or siding. Spray the dirty area with the hose to loosen the mess. Use your nylon brush to scrub the area on the wall with the mixture. Wait three to five minutes until your see the green starting to run. Spray off treated area with your hose. If there is staining or if there is more algae, moss or mildew, simply repeat the process. You can use this same method on fences also.
Cleaning Algae from Large Areas, Like Your Entire Home
If you have a large area that needs to be clean, like your entire home, do the following:
Either rent a pressure washer with an exterior cleaning solution or hire a professional. Hiring a professional could end of saving you in the long run, especially if you have brick exterior. Bricks and especially the mortar between them can be damaged by using a power washer incorrectly and the repairs on that will be far more expensive than the cost of hiring someone to take care of it for you.
What Causes Algae, Moss and Mildew to Grow On The Side of my Home?
Areas with a lot of sun will be more likely to grow the green stuff.
If the area it is growing is constantly damp, there is your problem. Make sure there are not irrigation nozzles facing your home. Check to see if the area holds water. If it holds water, you may want to create a small trench to drain the area or install some drainage. If it is a continuous problem, you may want to invest in gutters for your roof to divert water away during storms.
Believe it or not, dirt can be the culprit even when everything else has been taken care of. Dirt is able to hold enough water to allow your algae infestation to take hold. If this is your problem, you should look into having your home power washed. A good preventative measure for this would be storm gutters for your roof. Another helpful, and cheaper, option would be mulching the beds near the problem area to prevent rain from splashing dirt onto the wall.
Plants can leave sap and living tissue on your home. Algae loves this stuff. Keep your plants properly pruned away from your home. If you are planning a new landscape bed, try and keep a good distance from your home. One mistake a lot of people make is they plant shrubs and trees a good distance from their home at the size the plant is when they put it in the ground. Unless you transplanted the shrub or tree full grown, you will have a problem with it in a few years.
Areas of your home's exterior without proper airflow usually retain moisture. Keep plants pruned in these areas and try to place structures or decorations where they do not prevent air from moving freely in these problem areas.