Prevention and Control:
Once you have confirmed that rodents are in your workplace, you can take the following steps to make the uninvited guests leave.
Dry up rodent water sources by repairing leaky faucets or pipes indoors and outdoors, by eliminating bird feeders and bird baths.
Secure rubbish, especially food waste, in metal or hard plastic containers that can resist gnawing. .
Do not leave cakes and cookies, or other employee-shared snacks, out overnight, as these can be highly attractive to the rodents (and other pests as well)
Decrease natural food sources near the property by gathering any tree fruit and nuts promptly when they fall to the ground.
Inspect building openings and utility entries for cracks of 1/4-inch or larger.
Seal any cracks with concrete, mortar, steel wool or metal flashing.
Mount storage sheds on concrete slabs to discourage tunneling.
Prune shrubs so that six inches of the ground below is visible and trim the height of ground covers to one foot or less.
Cut back vines hanging on buildings and tree limbs overhanging roofs to eliminate overhead building entries.
Ask employees to keep any food in the kitchen rather than in their desk drawers, or store and food in their desks in
pest-resistant, ungovernable containers.
Keep an eye out for signs of re-invasion and continue to manage all the above.
1. Bay Leaves
Easily available in any grocery store and a common ingredient in kitchens, and a solution for those seemingly permanent roaches, bay leaves are surprisingly effective. Leave a bundle of them near sink holes, corners and crevices where roach nests are likely to be to fend off the pests. You can also place a packet of bay leaves in cupboards to protect books and clothes from the cockroaches.
2. Ammonia Solution
Cockroaches often hide in sinks and drain pipes. Ammonia is a top class house hold roaches home remedy in these situations. Add a cup full of ammonia in a bucket of water and flush it down sinks and toilets to clean out the pipes. The strong pungent smell will ward off the roaches nesting in pipes and sewers.
3. Moth Balls
Moth balls are excellent for warding off all kinds of pests including roaches. Place a few in your cupboard and near specific areas prone to infestation or likely to be the nesting area for roaches. However, they are not good for humans either so it is important to keep them away from children.
4. Mint Oil
Spray mint oil directly at the pests or in sinks and corners of your kitchen and bathrooms where roaches are more likely to settle. They may not work as fast as some other home remedies, but are a natural and non toxic way of keeping your home roaches free over time.
Listerine not only has antiseptic properties as a mouthwash but can also be used to disinfect your house. Dilute Listerine solution with some water and spray this mixture at nests or pests or around the kitchen and bathrooms to get rid of roaches.
Cedar can be available in the form of balls, chips or blocks to ward off all kinds of pests including roaches. One of the best roach repellents, cedar is often used to line cupboards and closets to keep these troublesome pets away.
7. Petroleum Jelly Trap
If you are feeling particularly creative, line the rim of a jar with petroleum jelly and leave it overnight with some food in it as a trap. The roaches will climb in for the food but will be trapped in, unable to escape because of the petroleum.
1. Crowd out weeds with thick lawn cover
The best defense is often a good offense. This means keeping the lawn thick and healthy to keep weeds from having any room to grow. You can also add groundcover plants and other thick plantings to crowd out weeds in decorative beds
“Weeds are simply plants that take advantage of open areas with available resources,” said Robert Hartzler, an extension weed specialist and professor of agronomy at Iowa State University. “The simplest way to control weeds is to eliminate the open niches that they take advantage of.”
Richard Zollinger of the North Dakota State University Department of Plant Science offers a simple two-prong strategy. “To minimize weed problems in my lawn as a home owner, I mow my lawn high and optimally fertilize to keep the lawn as competitive as possible,” he said.
Smith recommends reseeding lawns in the fall to prevent weed growth. Since many weeds are already dead late in the season, there is less competition for space as grass seeds try to take root. Smith also recommends strong, high-quality grass seed. Look for the highest germination and purity percentages available.
2. Maintain healthy soil
Once you have put in desirable plants that crowd out weeds, keep your plants healthy with fertile, aerated and well-drained soil. Test your soil and talk to local specialists to create the optimal fertilization plan. Unfortunately, weeds can grow in virtually any soil, but soil improvements will at least create a level playing field with your plants.
“Most weeds don’t have specific requirements for growth other than open areas. It usually isn’t possible to eliminate weeds simply by supplying some specific nutrient,” Hartzler said. “However, anything that can be done to promote the growth of the desirable plant will reduce weed problems. Weeds often benefit as much, if not more, from the application of fertilizer, so blindly applying nutrients in the hope of suppressing weeds can be counterproductive.”
Soil compaction is a concern under lawns, but can be overcome with core aeration every three or four years, said Smith.
. Till the garden
Loosening and turning over the soil is useful for managing weed populations, but tilling should be performed with caution. Tilling may simply rotate weed seeds. Hartzler explains the advantages of tilling.
“It provides a clean start for the crop and simplifies weeding. It can bury a lot of seeds at depths where they are unable to successfully establish. This can be a real benefit if a lot of seeds were produced the previous year and are laying on the surface,” he said.
However, dormant weed seeds may be brought back to life with tilling.
“Seeds buried more than three to four inches deep are much more persistent since there is a lot less biological activity at this depth. The next time the garden is tilled, some of them will be brought to the surface where they can germinate,” Hartzler said.
4. Hoe the topsoil
Carefully hoeing the topsoil can effectively control some weeds but, like tilling, hoeing has its limits.
“Hoeing can be very effective for controlling annual weeds. However, perennials often resprout from the roots after the tops are removed,” said B. Rosie Lerner, an extension consumer horticulture specialist at Purdue University.
Lerner said only the surface needs to be hoed to pull away young, small weeds. “Hoeing should consist of short, shallow strokes that simply cut off the weeds at soil level,” she said. “Hoeing deeper will only bring more weed seeds to the germination zone and may injure the roots of desirable plants growing nearby. … Weeds will be much easier to pull or hoe while they are still small.”
5. Mulch garden beds
Tom Lanini, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California Davis, said mulch is the most important factor in preventing weed growth. Nearly any barrier that blocks light works as a mulch. Bark and other decorative mulches work, but dried leaves, cardboard and newspapers are also effective.
“I think organic mulches are definitely the way to go. They have benefits beyond weed control.” Hartzler said.
Lerner notes that organic mulches improve soil structure, and add nutrients, particularly when used near the end of the growing season. They also keep the soil cool and reduce water loss to evaporation.
Straw and hay are among the cheapest mulches, but they must be free of weed seeds to be effective. Like other methods, mulch may be less effective on established perennial weeds. They are better at blocking smaller annual weeds.
6. Cover the ground with landscape fabric
Landscape fabrics are thin barriers covered with tiny holes. They are typically made of plastic, but may also be sheets of burlap or other natural fibers, or recycled plastics. They are effective at blocking weed growth while allowing water and air into the soil. They should be used in conjunction with thick, effective mulch.
“As a garden mulch, fabrics do provide good early-season weed protection. However, because fabrics allow some light to penetrate, weeds will germinate below and break through the cover unless some other material, such as rocks or bark mulch, are placed on top,” Lerner said.
According to Dr. Andrew Senesac of the Long Island Research Laboratory, landscape fabric will block many weeds, but it also limits some desirable flower production by restricting the spread of shoots, and inhibits the spread of some groundcovers and other spreading plants.
Some particularly hardy weeds and grasses can even germinate with no soil on top of porous weed barriers, then force their roots down.
Timber Damage Prevention
As solid as timber is, if it is not maintained it is likely to rot. One of the greatest cause of timber damage is Moisture. Timber tends to rot when it is often exposed to Moisture. In addition, freezing of water within the wood also causes a lot of damage to the timber. A house without adequate water proof is another cause of timber damage. Another cause of damage are woodworms. These insects build their homes in the timber. As the insects make their home in the timber they destroy the timber.
Timber Treatment Advice
If timber is not treated properly they will not be able to provide the support for the structure. Below are a couple of treatments tips;
Woodworm’s treatment is very important especially for timber that have been infested. The treatment depends on the specific type and specie of destroying agent.They agents that infest is basically beetles. Treatment is mainly by the use of water-based insecticide. This chemical kills the insect along with their egg and larvae. These treatments should be done by a professional so as to prevent further damage on the woods.
Another preventive measure is damp proofing. Damp proof includes the use of flexible material such as plastic sheets, bitumen, and metal sheets to reduce moisture. Timber could also be protected by the use of mortar, bricks and stone but this can be very expensive.
Dealing with molds can be very challenging. However, you can use anti-molds paints to prevent further growths of mildews and molds. The principle behind the use of anti-mold paint is that it reduces condensation as well as insulating the walls thereby reducing the amount out of moisture in the house.
Treatment of dry rot can be achieved by identifying the source of moisture and permanently rectifying it. It can be addressed by ensuring that there is proper ventilation. They wood is allowed to dry and after it completely dried it is treated with strong fungicides.
Do not procrastinate the treatments and maintenance of timber and wood in your home. Timber are vital to the structural integrity of your home. Ensure that this integrity is never compromise to prevent collapse of roofs and walls. Speak with a timber treatment professional for advice on the appropriate technique for the home. Act now before it is too late.
10 Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your House
Plants and Mulch. Trim back any tree branches or shrubbery that touch your home to eliminate pest “bridges” to the house. Mulch, such as wood chips and pine straw, provide ideal shelter for pests. Instead of using these in areas that touch your foundation, place less pest-attractive ground cover, such as rock or stone.
Doors and Windows. Because pests can wiggle through tiny cracks and gaps, inspect and repair any warped or broken doors and windows, and those that simply don’t fit well; repair rips or tears in screens. Use screen meshes size of at least 200 holes per square inch; these are generally available at home stores.
Cracks and Gaps. Inspect the entire exterior of your home for other cracks, crevices, and gaps through which pests could enter. Check for foundation cracks, loose siding, missing roof shingles, and gaps around incoming utility lines, including pipes, electric and cable wiring. Seal any openings with copper mesh, coarse steel wool, sheet metal or mortar. Expanding caulk is not as good to use because many pests can chew through it.
Trash and Litter. Keep yards, patios, decks, and garages free of litter, weeds, and standing water. Ensure trash cans have tight-fitting lids and clean the cans and area regularly to remove debris and spills, on which pests can feed.
Lights. To reduce flying insects around doors and windows, replace standard mercury vapor lights with high-pressure sodium vapor or halogen lights. Bulbs that have pink, yellow or orange tints will be least attractive to the flying insects. Although it is common to place lights on exterior walls near doors, it is better to place the light farther away, using pole lights when possible, with the light shining toward the door for safety.
Interior Gaps. Some cracks and gaps will be visible only from inside your home. Check in, under and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, and stoves, as well as between the floor and wall juncture and around pipes, floor and dryer vents. Seal any gaps found, especially those of 1/4 inch or greater.
Drains. Sink and floor drains often accumulate gunk and debris which can attract pests and provide an ideal breeding site, especially for small flies. Inspect and maintain all sink, tub, basement and laundry room floor drains.
Recycled Items. It is preferable to store recyclables outside and away from your home. If this is not possible, ensure that all containers are thoroughly rinsed and that the recycling bin has a tight-fitting lid. All recycling and trash containers should also be rodent proof and cleaned frequently.
Stored Foods. If opened bags and boxes cannot be completely closed, the food should be put into a resealable bag or plastic container to keep from attracting stored product (or “pantry”) pests that invade the kitchen. Use older foods first and clean out stale or uneaten foods to help keep attractants down.
Cleanliness. The cleaner your home, the less attraction it will have for pests, the less chance a pest will have to live and breed – and the less likely it will be that you would need to go on the defense and pull out a can of bug spray or call a pest control professional