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Bugs got you down?

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It can get might buggy in the Lowcountry. Generally, it’s best to use a professional exterminator to control insects around your home.  However, there are steps you can take to help.


Palmetto bugs

Take a nighttime stroll during the hot summer and you’ll most likely run into a palmetto bug, a Southern euphemism for cockroach. These reddish brown bugs grow up to 2 inches.

  • Sweep and vacuum often, especially after meals and under appliances and furniture.Seal food in plastic containers and store them in cabinets or the refrigerator.
  • Avoid leaking standing water in bathtubs, stopped-up sinks or soaking dishes. If your home is particularly damp, purchase a dehumidifier
  • Cover up the entry points into your home. For instance, search for holes around your house and cover them with fine mesh screening and duct tape. Try using weatherstripping along the bottom of your doors, stuff screening into cracks along the foundation and keep drains plugged when not in use.
  • Remove all natural palmetto bug habitats within 10 feet of your home, such as foliage, tall grass and wooden crates.
  • Hire an exterminator to spray around the perimeter of your home, both inside and out.

 

Fire ants

Fire ants create a complex network with mounds up to 25 feet underground. According to American-lawns.com, fire ants used to build nests with one queen. Now, mounds are often found with multiple queens willing to share and produce other colonies.

While worker ants live only a few months, the queens can live two years, producing about 1,000 eggs a day. If you’re walking in unfamiliar grassy territory, watch where you step. Fire ants are aggressive. They grip skin and sting multiple times.

Late August through early October is an ideal time to apply fire ant bait to your lawn. Baits are slow acting. That means it can take weeks or months to reduce ant mound numbers.

 

Mosquitoes

  • Drain water and get rid of puddles of water, which can prevent thousands of mosquitoes from hatching.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and bushes trimmed throughout the mosquito season.

 

Termites

  • While it’s important to have the pros thoroughly treat and inspect your home for termites, there are small steps that can make all the difference.
  • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and air-conditioning units.
  • Divert water from foundation.
  • Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch.
  • Drain standing water on roof.
  • Keep all vents clear and open.
  • Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes.
  • Keep firewood, lumber, and wood mulch or paper away from foundation and crawl space.
  • Remove stumps and debris near the house.
  • Check decks and wooden fences for damage.
  • If you do find damage, leave termite control to the professionals.