How to Keep Pests Away During Your Backyard Gatherings

How to Keep Pests Away During Your Backyard Gatherings

Backyard gatherings with friends and family can lead to the best memories. Father and son manning the grill, kids playing tag, friends sharing a drink while catching up. What a great time! But then, here come the mosquitoes as the sun begins to set. And the flies as you prepare dinner. It can quickly turn a relaxing and fun time into a war with pests. Here are some tips on how to take backyard bug control to the next level.


1. Provide and apply insect repellent.
Whether you prefer a DIY insect repellent or one from the store, applying an insect repellant can help prevent mosquitoes from biting.

2. Use yellow lightbulbs outside.
Insects are less attracted to yellow light bulbs so installing them in your outdoor lighting can help with your backyard bug control efforts.

3. Drain standing water.
Stagnant water attracts mosquitoes due to it being a possible laying ground. Drain water such as dog bowls and birdbaths.

4. Mow your lawn.
By mowing your lawn before guests arrive, you can eliminate hiding ground for pests such as mosquitoes to achieve optimal backyard pest control.

5. Turn on fans.
Setting up fans can help prevent pests from going after you and your food during gatherings. Plus, it’s a great way to stay cool on a warm summer night.

6. Cover all food and drinks.
The scent of your food or drinks typically attracts pests. A mesh, wire or plastic food cover can be used to shield pests from indulging in your meal.

7. Purchase a mosquito net or invest in a screened-in porch.
Instead of just protecting your food and drinks, protect yourself by purchasing a mosquito net. Better yet, invest in a screened porch.

8. Keep surfaces and areas clean.
Keep surfaces clean of food and drink residue and dispose of empty plates and cups to help with your backyard bug control problem. It’s also important to keep any trash isolated and covered to prevent pests such as ants and flies from invading.

9. Sign up for mosquito and tick suppression.
Bug Zero offers a service that targets plant foliage, shaded areas, and roof edges where mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and other outdoor pests frequent. This service is an add-on to our InsectaShield® residential service package.


Ready to contact your local pest experts so you can enjoy your pest-free gathering? Request a free quote here.


Differences Between Termite Swarmers vs Flying Ants

Differences Between Termite Swarmers vs Flying Ants

Distinguishing the difference between termite swarmers vs flying ants can be difficult. They both can be found in swarms and are similar in size. Being able to identify these pests correctly could protect your home from termite damage. Here are some differences to be on the lookout for.



While these two pests may look similar, there are several differences to make note of. Termite swarmer’s wings are uniform in size, have equal-length clear wings, straight antennae, and straight abdomens. They are characteristically black or brown. Flying ants have wings that are larger in the front than in the back and are more proportionate to their bodies. Oftentimes, their brown-tinted wings differ in size. Their abdomen is cinched, and their colors vary between black, brown, and reddish.



When comparing termite swarmers vs. flying ants be sure to note that both can be found residing in wood and colonies. One of the key differentiators is wood is not a food source for ants, unlike termites. Termites reside and eat away at decaying trees/stumps, wood debris, and wooden structures. They have been known to consume paper and other cellulose-based products as well. Ants feed on plants, other insects, nectar, seeds, and food scraps. Their nests can be found in dry, wet, damp, and/or rotting wood, and they continuously seek out moisture. Therefore, they are typically found lingering around pools or swarming after it rains.


Termite Swarmers vs. Flying Ants Lifespan

The lifespan of a termite swarmer is much longer than a winged ant. What does this mean for your home? Termites have the opportunity to cause even more structural damage. Most termites live for around 2 years while their queens have been known to live for decades. Ants typically live for just a few months and their queens about 2 years.

For help determining what pests you may be dealing with, contact your local pest experts. Learn more about our termite swarmer and flying ant pest control services here.



Termite Prevention Tips

Termite Prevention Tips

On average, homeowners spend $3,000 dollars on termite damage repairs after making the discovery of these pests in their homes. Termites slowly eat away wood and wood products resulting in buckling ceilings/walls, maze-like designs in wood structures, bubbled painted walls and more. To make matters worse, it can take years for termite damage to show up, leaving the structure of your home vulnerable until you notice the signs.

As the temperature warms and spring months arrive, termite mating season will begin. This means new colonies. To ensure your home won’t have a target on its back, check out our 10 prevention tips:

1. Eliminate entry points such as gaps around water and gas lines

2. Repair leaking water pipes and AC units

3. Keep wood debris, lumber, mulch, cardboard, and paper away from the foundation of your home

4. Replace mortar and weather stripping around the foundation and window of your home

5. Inspect the foundation of your home for mud tubes, hollow wood, and bubbled paint

6. Repair rotted roof shingles

7. Store firewood/lumber at least 20 feet from your home

8. Inspect wooden fences or decks frequently for termite activity

9. Check crawl spaces periodically for moisture

10. Schedule routine professional inspection

Unfortunately, there are no DIY methods that will eliminate your termite problem. Contacting a pest professional immediately will prevent these pests from causing even more damage to your home’s structural support and will help you identify the extent of your problem. Contact your local pest experts today to explore your termite treatment and prevention options.


How to Deal With Bed Bugs as a Property Manager

How to Deal With Bed Bugs as a Property Manager

Have you encountered bed bugs at your rental property? If not, the chances of coming across them in the future are high. Apartments/condominiums are one of the top locations for bed bug infestations. Knowing how to prevent and deal with these pests can save you time, money, and your reputation. Here are some tips.

Be Proactive

Be proactive by developing a plan of action. While you can’t control how cautious your tenants are when traveling or purchasing secondhand furniture, by having a plan of action, you can minimize the opportunity for the pests to reproduce and spread to other apartments. This plan should include:

  • How to inform or respond to the tenant
  • Getting in contact with a qualified pest management professional
  • Preparing the tenant for treatment

Be Educated

Educating yourself and your staff can aid in quickly managing a bed bug incident. This includes being able to recognize the bugs and signs of infestations. Indicators bed bugs are present is a musty odor, bites, bloodstains, fecal marks, eggs, shell casings, and live bed bugs. Because these pests are often misidentified as fleas and ticks, being familiar with their appearance will aid in providing the correct identification for your pest professional for treatment.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t rely on “at home” methods. Over-the-counter products such as the bed bug “bomb” canisters can worsen the problem by causing them to flee and infest other rooms.
  • Don’t require tenants to dispose of items in their apartments. Once treated by a pest professional, the items should be pest-free.
  • Don’t forget to inspect adjacent apartments to verify all infested units are treated.
  • Don’t relocate tenants to resolve the problem.
  • Don’t associate “clean” with “bed bug free.” Their presence isn’t a reflection of the cleanliness of a space.
  • Don’t withhold information from tenants regarding the problem. Keep communication open to manage the issue quickly and efficiently.

The last thing you will want to be stuck with when dealing with a bed bug infestation is narrowing down the right pest professional for you. Get established today with bed bug experts!


Attic Pests

Attic Pests

When there is a pest infestation in your home, you may find out by coming across the pest, their droppings, webs, etc. But what about the less traveled spaces such as your attic? Typically, we visit attics to pull items out of storage or tuck something away. So, maybe a handful of times each year? This could mean pests are enjoying your warm, dark attic with little human disruption. To top it off, there are usually many nooks and crannies to hide in. One of the main invaders to be on the lookout for is mice and rats.



Mice and Rats are pests that can threaten your home and your health. They are known for gnawing on electrical wiring, drywall, and other structural pieces which can lead to house fires and a weakened home structure. Rodents also acquire materials such as insulation and packing supplies to build their nests. These invaders can bring fleas, ticks, and mites into a home, cause allergic reactions with their urine, leave behind droppings, and spread hazardous diseases such as typhus, salmonellosis, and jaundice.


Prevention Tips

To protect your items in storage and your home, here are some tips to keep rodents out of your attic:

-Avoid leaving trash outside your home for long periods of time.

-Seal trash cans/bins properly.

-Avoid using cardboard boxes when storing items.

-Check for overhanging trees and greenery near your roof.

-Patch holes in the floorboard, walls, and roof with wire mesh, steel pads, or caulk.

-Secure chimneys with a cap.

-Stack firewood and debris away from your house.


If you hear squeaking, gnawing, or scurrying coming from your attic, it may mean you have some invaders. Rats and mice reproduce rapidly so be sure to contact your licensed pest exterminators right away.

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